WrightIMC http://wrightimc.com Dallas Interactive Marketing Communication Agency Thu, 11 May 2017 14:51:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 People Buy What You Do, Not Why You Do It http://wrightimc.com/people-buy-what-you-do/ http://wrightimc.com/people-buy-what-you-do/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:06:28 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=12876 I don’t know if marketers tell more lies to their clients … or themselves. I think the disingenuousness of modern marketing stems from a need to justify what it is. People need stuff to live, you make money from selling this stuff, and marketing gets people to buy your stuff. As long as humans have [...]

People Buy What You Do, Not Why You Do It

I don’t know if marketers tell more lies to their clients … or themselves.

I think the disingenuousness of modern marketing stems from a need to justify what it is. People need stuff to live, you make money from selling this stuff, and marketing gets people to buy your stuff. As long as humans have the same basic psychology, needs, and desires, we’ll market products to them the same way we have for decades. Channels change, but marketing fundamentals do not.


Can you smell it? Can you hear it sizzle?

So, why do thought leaders (Anybody can have thoughts, but few can be authorities or experts.) write books with pith like, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it!”? Well, first, because it earns them money to disguise well-known marketing precepts as something new, because they’re marketing themselves and their services. You bought what they did, the book, not why they did it – to make more money. And, second, because it earns them money, whereas espousing the fundamental bedrocks of marketing cannot be perceived as a shiny new secret to “hack” success instead of earning it. That’s how friends & family becomes a “tribe.” Again, until human nature changes, marketing principles shouldn’t.

Do you know what, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” ham-handedly rips-off? “You sell the sizzle, not the steak.” The difference is that the latter is partially true. The aroma and sound and visual appeal of grilling steak literally attracts humans through their senses. If it looks good, sounds good, and smells good – it’s probably going to taste good. So, the sizzle is marketing – promoting – the flavor of the steak. However, if it belies a bad taste or lacks any nutritional value, your steak won’t sell for long with all the promotion in the world.

Another similar platitude is, “People don’t buy a drill; they buy a hole.” Of course people buy drills, but not just to have the drill – they buy drills in order to make holes. You’re selling your product (what you do) to consumers, though, based on their why, not your why.

If people buy what you do or what you make, why does a branded gallon of milk sell for more money than the store-brand gallon of milk that came from the same cows and tanks? Is it because the milk brand just loves the universe and promotes peace through harmony with all bovines – because of their why? No, it’s because marketing gives that white liquid in that branded jug more perceived value.


If you’re awesome at this, you should definitely wear a player logo. Polo is a hard sport.

Perceived value is what makes a person spend three times as much on a Polo button down as a similar button down with no logo. Is this wrong? On one hand, logically, the only reason to spend more on a particular product is if it lasts longer, tastes better, has more of something, etc. If I buy four widgets for $.99 each at a dollar store, and the last one breaks a month later than a $4 widget from Home Depot, I’ve achieved a better real value.

On the other hand, if that Polo logo gives me more confidence when approaching a potential client – or potential date – then the perceived value may have a real effect … and value. It’s OK for companies to have a premium product, if they can prove the value to customers. Companies can achieve value in products or services many different ways – yes, even with cause marketing, where they affiliate the business with a cause or charity. But, even if it’s attached to your company’s why, it’s still not as important as what you do or make.

But, you say, people become very loyal to Patagonia and REI and Toms because of what they do with their profits. First of all, the charitable or non-profit support of most large companies or corporations is never a reason for their existence. In most instances, it’s just more marketing, and at best it’s an extension of the why, but can’t sustain a company long term.

It can create a pillow of virtue around a brand to help cushion small and large blows from any of a company’s failures. What’s the test of my assertion? If these brands began creating and selling lower-quality products, yet sold them for the same prices, would customers keep buying them because of why the company exists? No way. Frankly, customers would do more good by buying non-premium products and donating the difference straight to the Sierra Club or another charity – because corporate profits wouldn’t come out of that margin.

So, why do companies choose celebrity spokespeople or brand ambassadors? Kids (and adults) are buying Nike shoes because they love Lebron James, without a doubt. Nike loves Lebron, so the kids love Nikes. Loving successful athletes is why Nike makes shoes! Nah, Nike makes shoes to fill a need and make a profit so its employees can pay for food, shelter, and their own shoes.

What Nike does by having athletes endorse their products is called barnacle marketing. They’ve attached their brand to another successful brand – eg. Lebron James. If Lebron starts wearing Adidas, will kids keep buying the same Nike shoes that are no longer labeled “Lebrons”? Nope. So, they’re not buying why Nike makes shoes, they’re buying shoes because Lebron implies they should. If he goes away, that impetus goes away.

snow monkey

I cannot guarantee this baby snow monkey is from Peru. It almost assuredly is not.

If you still don’t believe me, I want you to try something. The next time you’re talking to a prospective client or customer, tell them all about your passion for your business. Tell them about Great Aunt Tillie and her journey from Eastern Europe to pursue her dream of owning a mule shoeing business. Tell them how that inspired you to make a difference in the world by crocheting full-body suits out of sloth hair and giving 0.00612% of the profits to a Peruvian snow monkey collective. Then, when they’re in awe of WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO™, tell them how much your product or service sucks. Tell them the sloth hair will give them a raging case of emphysema and the lumbago. Tell them your competitor’s service is better and cheaper – but he simply does good work, he DOES NOT HAVE A WHY!

See if they buy from you. Prove me wrong.

Now, I’m not so tone deaf as to believe that your why for your business doesn’t have an impact on your product or service. If you and your employees are enjoying yourselves and loving what you do, your customers will almost certainly notice and perceive your products or services to be better. However, if your 4Ps aren’t competitive, or don’t provide adequate value, your why isn’t going to sell your what for very long. WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO™ is for you and your staff. The outcome of that is for your customers.

I’ve seen too many clients struggling to find a brand proposition and marketing strategy based on bad marketing books. I’m tired of it. Sell the qualities of your product. Sell how the product or service benefits the client. Sell the full tummy and happy memories of a steak dinner with best friends. Sell holes, not a drill. Sell the products with good-looking celebrities. Use data to sell it to the people most likely to need or want it.

Whatever you do, sell it to your customers to answer their why … not your why.

People Buy What You Do, Not Why You Do It

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SEO & UX Can’t Work Together? SEO is UX and Vice Versa http://wrightimc.com/seo-ux-cant-work-together-seo-is-ux-and-vice-versa/ http://wrightimc.com/seo-ux-cant-work-together-seo-is-ux-and-vice-versa/#comments Fri, 11 Dec 2015 22:24:09 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=12758 Web Design Let’s talk web design for a few minutes, shall we? I’m here to tell you that a website can be attractive and functional for actual human visitors – while also catering to search engine algorithms so that it can rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. UX and SEO [...]

SEO & UX Can’t Work Together? SEO is UX and Vice Versa

Web Design

Let’s talk web design for a few minutes, shall we? I’m here to tell you that a website can be attractive and functional for actual human visitors – while also catering to search engine algorithms so that it can rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.

UX and SEO can bothd work together when designing a website – because they both have the same goal: sell stuff. They aren’t at odds with one another, they are practically (effectively) the same thing.

You need your visitors to be able to find you on the Internet, that’s a given. But, just as important is having potential customers who remain engaged once they’re on your site. The challenge is getting out of the old mindset that separate departments are only responsible for one side of it. If you’re developing or maintaining or promoting a website, a strong grasp of SEO is no longer optional.

Because Google rewards certain engagement metrics, such as click-through rates in the search results, how often visitors to your site go back to the search results and visit another site, and other factors, you need to understand what your customers want as much as, if not more than, what they’re searching for. SEOs need to understand UX thoroughly.

It’s easy to fall into myopia, though. Forget how it used to be. The game has changed and you need to adapt or die.

SEO and UX: The Hang Ups

Conflict within these two camps usually begins with structure and ends with content, but it doesn’t have to. You design a site to fit specific needs, and you decide during that time to put yourself in your visitor’s shoes (not your own). What do they want to see? What are they looking for? Am I answering the right questions?

For search engines, the biggest factor is that search bots are dumb (yes, we know Google is working on artificial intelligence – but in general bots are bots) and they need a bit more guidance while crawling your content. They don’t read the same way as humans, so semantic markup in the code is ideal to define different elements on the page, on top of your standard best practices of H1/H2 organization, good title tags, properly named images, good loading speeds, etc.

Google constantly works to try and make their algorithms more reflective of what humans search for and consume, but unfortunately, people are often building their search queries “improperly” as well. Google has taken this so far as to rewrite queries in order to produce more relevant results. That’s another story for another day, though.

Instead, we’re going to focus on what SEO’s should be working on to grab the attention that their clients deserve. It’s an endless task for SEO’s to discern the algorithms and find a balance that catches the attention of search engines and customers alike. In true SEO fashion, they often end up writing for the robots. And when you write for robots, your copy’s voice sounds … robotic. Google is constantly working to try and change this, but they haven’t reached that point – yet.

Keyword Stuffing

This is one of the more clichéd conflicts for digital marketing professionals. Most SEO professionals know now that cramming keywords and keyword phrases into content without giving thought to whether it is readable or motivating marketing is now ineffective in the eyes of Google. But we still see this mistake being made.

Plain and simple, you shouldn’t stuff keywords anywhere, including the following places:

  • The footer
  • In a white background with white text (It’s still text, and Google still recognizes it)
  • In the metadata
  • In the alt text
  • In the CSS

As mentioned above, keyword stuffing is ineffective if you’re trying to move up the rankings. In fact, Google has updated their algorithms as of recently to recognize keyword stuffing, possible spam/robotic content, and enact penalties for its appearance on the web.

What’s your best bet, SEO types? Use keywords sparingly and carefully, don’t “stuff” them in content. You have options as to where you can stick keywords, such as the H1, 2 or 3 tags, and over a few places in the text. But never place them in ways that could compromise quality, especially by using them way too often. ALWAYS write for a real, human customer. If you do that, you’ll do fine in search, also.

One Page Website and SEO

One page websites – or “parallax” sites – are the flavor of the month (well, more like a couple of years, now). One page sites provide great UX by coagulating all of the relevant content visitors look for on, you guessed it, one page. They’re a popular option when considering a design for a landing page, and often they have many attractive aesthetic features, such as parallax scrolling and smooth CSS transitions.

Their architecture even lends them to SEO optimization because you’re able to fit more feature-rich content on the page visitors are landing on. However, it is universally difficult to optimize one page for many different keywords because of the length and quality of content needed to rank with the modern search algorithm. If you’re including 500-1,500 words for each product or service you offer, on a single page, you’re probably looking at a page so long that it loses the UX advantage.

But, if you’re insistent (or your boss is) on a parallax site, here’s how you can optimize one. Single page websites offer multiple H1 tagged headings in their long scrolling formats, making for more keyword opportunities on the same page, but they still don’t pack quite the SEO punch of a website with multiple pages. Interlinking isn’t possible on a single page, and you may be looking at longer refresh times if your website is one long page and you don’t code in safeguards to mitigate it.

Also, keep in mind Google doesn’t like sending searchers to a page where they have to dig for the information they were looking for. Keep your hidden/collapsed divs to a minimum, and make sure you have a good business case for including tabbed content on the page. Read more here https://www.seroundtable.com/google-hidden-tab-content-seo-19489.html.

UX and SEO are Dance Partners

Good SEO works better with good UX than the average digital marketer gives it credit for. There are common qualities both possess such as concise, legible, and informative copy with quality keywords that serve the purposes of both visitors and search engines.

Google desires to give searchers relevant content that enhances their experience with the search engine and the right website. SEOs want to attract Google traffic. Sound SEO practices should, and do, reflect effective UX, then.

Three Common Myths of SEO and UX Conflicts

Conflict exists in the eyes of many digital marketers because many foundational methods of SEO continue to be followed – even though they are dated, ineffective, and potentially dated (see: keyword stuffing, comment spam, buying links). Designers and developers also have some long-standing beliefs that research has proven incorrect. Let’s take a look at the common myths:

  1. Images Increase the Visitor’s Attention: Images are great if they complement the copy and design elements of a website. If they are used too frequently, especially in the wrong layout, then they not only distract visitors but also affect page load times. Now, both your SEO and UX have taken a hit. Rotating “sliders” have also proven to crush conversion rates, though they nicely solve debates about what should occupy prime page real estate – everything! That might actually be the problem…
  2. Choice Always Trumps Simplicity: Options are nice, but too many result in indecision and frustration on the customer’s end. Keep things simple for your audience. Have a clear path outlined and a sitemap available to your visitors as they navigate your site. Tab titles and menus should be easily recognizable and contain the important destinations (in their language) for a customer. If your website is meant to be a reference source for a wide breadth of content, then a multitude of options for navigating different categories could be useful. Otherwise, your focus should be making sure your visitor can reach their destination in the fewest clicks possible.
  3. Content Appearing Beneath The Fold Doesn’t Count: Content above the fold remains top priority because of its visibility and efficacy. The data supporting it is consistent and affirms that visitors expect the most important information to be at the top of the page, with everything below ordered in diminishing importance. It’s like the standard structure for an essay you would write in high school, five paragraphs with a thesis, supporting content, and then an end. In the same way, you want your website to begin with the most important info that summarizes your business and/or purpose, and the rest of your navigation and site structure should flow downhill.

All in all, point 3 summarizes the whole idea of what I’ve tried to convey here. The biggest myth in this industry is that SEO and UX are not equals and that one is more important than the other, depending on which discipline you prefer. Both serve customers well if done correctly because they have the same purpose of serving the customer.

SEO & UX Can’t Work Together? SEO is UX and Vice Versa

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Online Reputation Management Strategies for Rookies http://wrightimc.com/online-reputation-management-strategies-for-rookies/ http://wrightimc.com/online-reputation-management-strategies-for-rookies/#comments Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:30:13 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=12722 Online reputation management (ORM) is one of the more misunderstood terms in the world of digital marketing. So don’t worry that you’ve found yourself on this blog post, you’re far from the first person with questions on this subject. ORM has been mistaken to exclusively mean a number of things from social media management to [...]

Online Reputation Management Strategies for Rookies

Online reputation management (ORM) is one of the more misunderstood terms in the world of digital marketing. So don’t worry that you’ve found yourself on this blog post, you’re far from the first person with questions on this subject. ORM has been mistaken to exclusively mean a number of things from social media management to online public relations, or something else entirely.

Many people don’t even understand how critical ORM is to their business’s reputation and, ultimately, sales and revenue. Hopefully this post will clear up an important truth for your business no matter its age or size: Everyone has an online footprint and it can make or break your success.  

Yes, “They” are Constantly Talking about You


Your online reputation can change from positive to abysmal in 5 minutes

It was just a few years back that the Internet was a much more passive place for the consumer. Communication was primarily “top down,” where brands created content that was primarily informative with no invitation to interact with customers. Over a few years, though, this landscape changed dramatically.

Websites are no longer just brochures dressed up in HTML and CSS. They are active platforms that often invite users to like, leave comments, and share content within the site. These interactions are critical to business success in society today, which heavily values word of mouth and user testimony. If you think your business can be successful without considering people’s voices, opinions, and reviews – you are sadly mistaken.

Transparency is Worth the Risk

You’ve probably heard it before, “Be Transparent!” It’s one of the most popular business commandments, and successful companies embrace the challenge of transparency. Transparency simply means that your company explains its policies and positions and is open to criticism and feedback. Some of the most popular examples include:

Allowing employees to express their opinions of products and services publicly

  • 1-on-1 communication channels
  • Soliciting feedback
  • Not hiding or deleting criticism, such as posts through social media, and addressing it either publicly or through private messaging offline.

While these are worthy tactics that companies should engage in, most simply do not. Small- and medium-sized companies, which often work with smaller budgets and resources, struggle to consistently perform these actions.

Yes, transparency is risky and it takes time to develop a consistent communications plan for your organization. But, ignoring it altogether can cost you dearly when a crisis, or unplanned consumer feedback, becomes reality.


So, what does the conversation about your brand sound like? If you are doing ORM well, you won’t be concerned about only what people are saying about you, but you’ll also assess if a reaction is warranted at all. Sometimes a reaction isn’t necessary and could actually open up more questions than you have answers for, and other times you may have waited too long to be effective.

Proactive ORM consists of monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis, not just when things begin to go wrong. This is where “social media monitoring” comes into play. Social media monitoring allows companies to gather public online content (blog posts, tweets, review sites, etc.), process it, and determine whether the conversation is positively or negatively affecting their reputation. You can perform social media monitoring by DIY means (such as using Google Alerts or Hootsuite), with large and expensive tools like Radian6, or through professional management for your brand, which we perform at WrightIMC.

ORM Bombs

In ORM, you’ll deal with two types of negative content, which must be approached in different ways because of their origin and severity.

The first type of content lives on social media and can be handled in a more traditional public relations manner. Any negative consumer-generated content or interaction through social media should obviously be handled immediately, however. And, the best practice is to try to move a conversation out of ‘comments’ and into direct messages, phone calls, or emails. This prevents a tense conversation from attracting the attention of other customers and consumers in the public space of social media.

The second type of negative online content is much more severe and deals with what are sometimes known as “ORM bombs.” ORM bombs are very powerful because they live in search engines and not just social networks. Someone can search for your brand name and find results that are negative, as well as possibly libelous.

ORM bombs come in the following forms:

  • Negative Reviews: These include review sites such as Yelp, Yahoo, Google My Business, etc., that allow users to give their opinion of your brand. How do they feel about your service/products? Do they recommend it? Negative content affects sales, and simply responding to these reviews may not be enough. That is especially true if they live on websites such as Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer, which often produce defamatory content that the site owners refuse to remove.
  • Hate Sites: These sites go beyond simple negative reviews and are specially-made websites including opinions that target specific businesses and business leaders. They often contain misleading illegal, libelous content. If you find a website on the first page of the search results for your brand with a headline such as, “The truth about YOURCOMPANYNAMEHERE” or “NAME scam/rip off,” it could be turning away potential customers.
  • Negative Media Coverage: “All PR is good PR” is one of the biggest myths around. Unless you’re one of the Kardashians or Jenners, it becomes very hard to spin unfavorable TV, print, and online media coverage into positive attention. Keep track of what the media is saying and writing about you, and decide when to respond appropriately with clarifying information.

Is Legal Action Necessary?

In a society where we value freedom of speech, opinion, and expression, it’s important that we respect everyone’s right to express their thoughts about our brand. Most of the time feedback whether positive or negative, warranted or unwarranted, can be addressed in a professional and productive manner. In fact, some studies show that consumers expect a little bit of negative news for any company and are skeptical of companies with perfect ratings and reviews.

There are, however, cases where legal boundaries will be crossed and online content regarding your brand is illegal. If the content contains defamatory language, false information, or language aimed at damaging you brand’s reputation – language that is not factual – it requires more aggressive efforts from your marketing/PR department and even legal action.

 The following are a few of your options to handle such cases:

  • Review Removal: Have you found reviews that make false claims about your company? Are the reviews libelous and aimed at defaming your brand as opposed to providing feedback? Is the language threatening? Proper legal consultation and swift reaction makes it possible to have these reviews removed.
  • Online Investigations: In the case of a serious attack to your brand image, you may have to consult with skilled online analysts who can trace threats and attackers through email tracing, data cross-indexing, and other information collection techniques. A cyber investigation is often your last line of defense in ORM, but it has a proven track record for the most complex reputation management cases.
  • Aggressive SEO: It doesn’t matter how great your business cards or your website look. If negative content appears on page 1 of search engine results, this speaks louder than anything else in our digitally connected society. If you find false or misleading information on sites that won’t remove the content, you or your ORM company should begin creating a content strategy that increases the number of positive results for your brand in search engines in order to push negative information down. While legal strategies may work, creating content is an aggressive way to both promote your company and diminish negative results.

The Ten Commandments Of ORM

Your online reputation is simply your reputation, now. You are never protected from criticism in today’s digital era with access to social networks, blogs, review sites, and personal websites at the touch of phone screen. This is great for the consumer in an era of constantly expanding free speech, but bad if your company has faced an attack and even defamation.

There are 10 commandments every digital marketer should follow when managing their brand’s reputation. Yes, changes should be expected as the search and social media landscapes are always evolving, but these are 10 fundamentals that seem to stand the test of time.

  1. Become Well Respected:  Business experts say that respect is perishable and hard to achieve. All of your publicity work (and business practices) should center on maintaining a respectable image above all else.
  2. Allow Radical Transparency: Don’t hide what your critics are saying. Your marketing strategy should take into consideration all criticism that could come from any product or message released to the public, and your responses to criticism can extol additional value in your products.
  3. Monitor What Others are Saying about You: Aside from general reputation management, social media has become a popular place for potential customers to inquire about your business. Keep an eye on your Facebook and Twitter pages for questions that show possible intent to purchase. Likewise, respond quickly to complaints so they don’t expand out of control.
  4. Swift and Polite Reaction is Key: Even if an issue arises and you don’t have an immediate answer to someone’s question, simply replying with, “We are aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible,” and giving periodic updates as available, is better than a late and lengthy response.
  5. Address Criticism, and Even Embrace it: Whole Foods CEO John Mackey published an op-ed on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2009, causing displeasure with numerous Whole Foods customers. Two days later, the company released a statement recognizing “…many opinions on this issue, including inside our own company.” The company then invited customers to share their opinions on the matter.
  6. Page 1 on a Google Search is Your Business Card: First impressions are critical. If “scam” or “rip off” are associated with any of the results on page 1 of your Google brand search, you have a problem on your hands.
  7. Your Critics May Have a Point: Criticism is not always from competitors or illegitimate attackers, but often legitimate feedback that can be embraced to make your company better. If the latter is the case, use it as a learning experience on how to craft a message that creates less offense or conflict for your audience.
  8. Fight Illegal Behavior: Sometimes you just have to fight illegal behavior. This can range everywhere from employees within your own company creating negative publicity to people who author content on the Internet containing false information about your brand. If you don’t remove them from your company or sue to stop the defamation, they might continue to besmirch you.
  9. Learn from Mistakes: This is self-explanatory. Any proactive actions that you have taken for your brand’s reputation, and any successful reactions that helped restore your reputation in a crisis, should be applied to your communications plan for the future.
  10. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help: We are working on several ORM projects with current clients at WrightIMC and have completed successful campaigns before. Don’t hesitate to send us an email or call if your brand needs help.

Warren Buffett was absolutely right when he said reputation can be built in 20 years and brought down in only 5 minutes. The Internet is a more powerful force affecting reputation and perception – for businesses and individuals – than any that existed before. Don’t let a lack of attention to your online presence bring down what you’ve worked so hard to build.  

Online Reputation Management Strategies for Rookies

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An Intern’s Perspective on Content Marketing and Its Niche within Digital Marketing http://wrightimc.com/an-interns-perspective-on-content-marketing-and-its-niche-within-digital-marketing/ http://wrightimc.com/an-interns-perspective-on-content-marketing-and-its-niche-within-digital-marketing/#comments Mon, 02 Nov 2015 22:34:49 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=12713 Digital Marketing My name is Travis Lofley. I’m 22 years old and I graduated from Texas Tech University in May 2015 with a B.A. in Public Relations. I chose to transition into the world of digital marketing upon graduation and was fortunate to receive an opportunity this past summer to begin my career with WrightIMC [...]

An Intern’s Perspective on Content Marketing and Its Niche within Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

My name is Travis Lofley. I’m 22 years old and I graduated from Texas Tech University in May 2015 with a B.A. in Public Relations. I chose to transition into the world of digital marketing upon graduation and was fortunate to receive an opportunity this past summer to begin my career with WrightIMC as a post-graduate intern.

My formal title with WrightIMC is Content Marketing Intern, but with a boutique agency like ours that employs about 20 full-time people, it’s a very autonomous environment. Every day brings a new challenge and everyone here is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to meet the needs of every client. My job responsibilities are broad, however, content marketing is still the foundation of my work. I was brought on board with the company because of my public relations background, and how my perspective would contribute to the needs of our clients. Here’s how I explain my role at WrightIMC.

Integrated Marketing

The IMC in WrightIMC’s name stands for Integrated Marketing Communications. IMC is a popular digital marketing structure. The best way I can describe it is that it follows the public relations mindset of storytelling and connecting with the consumer beyond the hard sell of advertising, in order to drive and support marketing objectives and the desire for ROI. This is where a content marketer like me is a niche contributor in our agency.

Content Marketing within Digital Marketing

Content Marketing within Digital Marketing

Content marketing didn’t change the digital marketing landscape, rather the digital marketing landscape changed and content marketing became an integral part of the industry. Digital marketing cut its teeth with hackers and computer programmers who would always be on top of the latest search engine algorithms. At one time, top search engine results would be filled with poorly-written content, incoherent and spammed with keywords to cheat the system. Search engines began to pick up on this trend and enacted penalties to prevent and demote this spam.

Marketers needed people who understood storytelling, literary authority, and branding who could give clients a voice and, as a result, drive conversions by creating a creating a relationship with consumers. Search engines wanted to deliver useful content to people searching for it, and beyond basic facts that are similar among competitive businesses, story-telling content became the way to stand out from competitors. There are many ways to do effective content marketing, from using humorful yet authoritative memes and images to inform the consumer of a product on social platforms, to creating a blogging platform that’s a transparent voice of the company for entry level employees all the way to top management.

Public Relations

The similarities between public relations practitioners and content marketers can be summed up in one word: community. The average public relations professional lives and dies by their client or organization’s appearance in the news. They work to stay on top of their media lists, contacts with journalists, and ultimately their public reputation. Content marketers live and die by search engines and social media platforms and the relationships they’ve created with blogging authorities and social media communities through “link building.” The old days of buying links or creating link rings are gone and buried.

Modern link building is just one of several more-technical strategies that content marketers need to learn to increase chances of reaching their target audience. Now, it involves recreating existing content with more subject authority and more value than other competitive content. I say “recreating” because in 2015, let’s be honest – there’s not much new under the sun. The basic facts of a piece of content like “how to install a faucet” don’t change from plumbing website to plumbing website – but the quality of the writing (or videos) do.

After your awesome new content is created – blog post, infographic, video – then the process of reaching out to appropriate authors in online communities becomes very much like traditional PR. Sometimes it involves asking them to create links in their own content, because your content is now more valuable than what existed before, which eventually drives traffic back to the client’s blog or other content. If you earn links in the right neighborhoods, your client will benefit more from the visitors sent from there than from the search engine boost.

A Story and Voice

I had a professor at Texas Tech who would tell her students to “Come out swinging for the jugular, and always tell your story.” I’d say this absolutely applies to the content marketing world in the same way it applies to public relations. There are voices across the web, but few really have the authority and expertise that earn the precious time of fast-paced, constantly-changing, online communities.

I know all too well that I’ve transitioned into an industry that operates off of paid media and ROI measurement, so I understand the numbers and their significance. But, it excites me to have entered into an industry that can also look beyond the spreadsheet and value people who are the voice for a brand instead of being one voice in a sea of many. I look forward to all that is yet to come and the newest trends that will continue to appear in our ever-changing industry.

An Intern’s Perspective on Content Marketing and Its Niche within Digital Marketing

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6 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015 http://wrightimc.com/6-digital-marketing-trends-to-watch-in-2015/ http://wrightimc.com/6-digital-marketing-trends-to-watch-in-2015/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:18:05 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=12557 The digital marketing space continued to rapidly evolve in 2014 to keep up with more engaged consumers. Mobile marketing soared. Native advertising continued its rocketing rise to dominance. Google released Panda 4.0. Google also introduced another algorithm update, aimed at local search, known as Pigeon. And, the Big Data chant picked up steam. So, what’s [...]

6 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015

Digital Marketing Trends PictureThe digital marketing space continued to rapidly evolve in 2014 to keep up with more engaged consumers. Mobile marketing soared. Native advertising continued its rocketing rise to dominance. Google released Panda 4.0. Google also introduced another algorithm update, aimed at local search, known as Pigeon. And, the Big Data chant picked up steam.

So, what’s in store for 2015? Read our list of digital marketing trends to find out. WrightIMC CEO Tony Wright chimes in about some of these trends and what to expect.

  1. Sites that aren’t mobile-friendly will fail

In 2014, Google made it obvious that it’s placing increasing importance on mobile usability. When Google decided to move away from the “Carousel” in favor of the “3-pack,” they tested mobile-friendly icons next to search results. Google also added a mobile usability section in Webmaster accounts so users can see their mobile performance. As it was already, Google was penalizing sites that caused errors for mobile users.

In 2015, mobile search is expected to surpass desktop, according to eMarketer. According to Tech Republic, most experts agree that brands will have to be more thoughtful about leveraging mobile technology in order to deliver experiences that meet customers’ needs.

Wright says mobile marketing reminds him of SEO in the old days because the tracking is difficult, the standards are loose, and the way users are responding in mobile is changing at an ever-increasing pace as the reach and frequency of mobile content continues to expand.

“No one can tell you exactly what innovations will occur in mobile advertising this year, but the safe bet is that they will be significant,” he said. “The first step is to make sure that all of your digital assets are mobile-friendly. Then, you can adjust to whatever changes take place in the years to come.”

  1. Companies will ramp up their data-driven marketing efforts

The big data and analytics market will hit $125 billion worldwide this year, according to IDC. Data-driven marketing is delivering notable results in the areas of customer loyalty, customer engagement and marketing growth, according to a Forbes report that surveyed more than 300 executives. The report’s key finding:

Companies that are leaders in data-driven marketing are  “three times more likely than ‘laggards’ to say they have achieved competitive advantage in customer engagement/loyalty (74% vs. 24%) and almost three times more likely to have increased revenues (55% vs. 20%).”

While organizations are recognizing the value of data-driven marketing, strategies are being undertaken in a piecemeal manner, when they should use resources from across an organization instead.

We can definitely expect big data to remain a hot buzzword – a phrase that actually makes Wright cringe. He advises that companies should view big data in another way.

“I don’t like the phrase big data,” he said.  “I’d much rather have five data-driven actionable points than 10 million pieces of irrelevant data. Look at your data as a problem solving tool – not a marketing panacea. Your customers are people, not the sum of their demographic and purchase data. Always remember that.”

  1. Search rankings will become more about building relationships and less about technical strategies

With the large amount of content produced and published daily, businesses are realizing that focusing on creating content and optimizing the technical components for SEO aren’t enough to achieve their goals. Marketers are learning businesses that can humanize their brand are the ones that set themselves apart.

Higher search rankings cannot be achieved by focusing solely on technical compliance. Rather, relational strategies that engage brand advocates, influencers and the social media world will boost rankings.

It’s becoming increasingly important for marketing to integrate SEO and digital as part of their overall strategy.

“SEO isn’t magic,” Wright said.  “It’s more like plumbing. If all of the pipes don’t work, then the plumbing doesn’t work. Increasingly, we’re seeing more pipes that lead to the overall success of SEO efforts. The entire marketing plan needs to keep SEO in mind in 2015. Companies that silo their efforts are going to have a hard time showing SEO success going forward.”

  1. SEO companies will focus more on integration

The SEO companies of 2015 will know how to merge SEO, social media and content marketing. We’ll see a shift from SEO as an isolated practice to a foundation that integrates all aspects of marketing. Content marketing and social media specialists will need SEO knowledge and skills and vice versa. SEO will be integrated with the creation and promotion of content much more in 2015.

At WrightIMC, we have long advocated an integrated marketing approach – so much so that we included it in our agency name. If you want to read more about our philosophy, check out a blog post written by Wright who discusses how the traditional lines of marketing are being blurred and how PR and advertising professionals shouldn’t be threatened by SEO and digital marketing.

  1. Brands will create meaningful content and adopt video even more

Last year, companies continued to step up their content marketing efforts and created a proliferation of content. In 2015, you’ll start to see a shift to more high-quality, meaningful content being produced that resonates with consumers.

Companies will also want to quantify their content marketing activities more than ever in 2015. As it is already, only 23 percent of B2C content marketers believe they successfully track ROI, according to findings from a 2014 Content Marketing Institute Survey. And 51 percent of B2C content marketers rated measuring content effectiveness as challenging.

To help break through the clutter, video will be one of the main content marketing tactics used. Video consumption continues to surge across all devices. Marketers are observing positive engagement rates from video usage. In a video content marketing study from Vidyard and Ascend2, 71 percent of marketers indicated that video converts better than other text and images.

In 2015, we can anticipate brands creating more original video content, as well as increasing their usage of shorter video content via platforms such as Vine and Instagram.

  1. Emerging social networks will grow … but may not last

2014 was the year of niche social networks that were built in response to the failings of companies like Facebook. The lack of privacy, collection of data and pervasive advertising on Facebook has caused some to look for other networks. Ello, for instance, offers a bare-bones, forever-ad-free experience and promises to never sell user data to third parties. Ello is being labeled by some as the new “hipster social network,” but it may not be able to compete with Facebook’s thriving 1.3 billion user community.

Yik Yak allows users to exchange fully anonymous posts with people who are physically nearby. Another network to watch in 2015 is Tsu, which has promised to share ad revenue with users based on the popularity of their posts.

This year will no doubt be another exciting one in the digital marketing space. If you have any questions about what lies ahead in digital marketing or need help with your digital marketing strategy, please reach out to us in the contact form below.

6 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015

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WrightIMC to Offer Free Photo Headshots and Site Clinics at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 http://wrightimc.com/wrightimc-offer-free-photo-headshots-site-clinics/ http://wrightimc.com/wrightimc-offer-free-photo-headshots-site-clinics/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:58:10 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=6005 Your photo headshot is an important part of your online brand. An effective photo can help make the right impression particularly on LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile that has a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed, according to the professional networking website. It’s critical that your photo conveys professionalism and confidence.  If you’re [...]

WrightIMC to Offer Free Photo Headshots and Site Clinics at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

Your photo headshot is an important part of your online brand. An effective photo can help make the right impression particularly on LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile that has a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed, according to the professional networking website.

It’s critical that your photo conveys professionalism and confidence.  If you’re an expert on a subject, then your photo headshot should convey authority.

When a potential employer or recruiter views your photo, we want to help you put your best face forward in a time when your online appearance is more crucial than ever. During Pubcon Las Vegas 2014, Katherine Wright, a talented, professional photographer who has her own business, IMamarazzi Studios, will take headshots at the WrightIMC booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and sign up for a free, professional headshot.

Each photo session will last up to 15 minutes. Photos will be taken on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8. Katherine will use professional equipment and steady lighting. You’ll be able to choose from one of three backdrops for the photo. Here are some tips if you decide to sign up for a photo:

  • Dress like you would to meet a client or attend a business meeting.
  • Make the photo your own. Be yourself.
  • Your hair and/or make-up should be done much in the same way that it appears on a regular basis in the business world.
  • Please arrive five minutes ahead of your scheduled photo session. Please be respectful of Katherine’s time.

After your photo session ends, you can expect to receive your headshots within a few minutes. Slight touch ups and blemish removal on the photos can be done for an additional fee. Please understand edited photos will be delivered a couple of weeks following Pubcon.

To sign up for a free photo session, go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0948aea829a57-free

Free Site Clinics

At WrightIMC, our passion and expertise in digital marketing enables us to create handcrafted online campaigns that produce results for our clients. At Pubcon, we’ll use our experience and knowledge to assess your website’s SEO and content during our free site clinics at our booth.

Our SEO experts will take the time to identify any major issues that need to be corrected immediately.We will make some top-level recommendations to improve your website. Each site clinic session will last 15 minutes. The site clinics will be available on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8.

To sign up for a free site clinic, go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0948aea829a57-free1

The WrightIMC booth number is 407.

WrightIMC to Offer Free Photo Headshots and Site Clinics at Pubcon Las Vegas 2014

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How to Avoid Having Your Data Held Hostage http://wrightimc.com/avoid-data-held-hostage/ http://wrightimc.com/avoid-data-held-hostage/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 21:27:06 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=5990 Imagine that you detect a few issues with the accounting firm that manages your books. You decide to hire a third party to independently review their work. However, when you request access to your books, the firm refuses to provide it. As a business owner, you might be compelled to fire or even sue this [...]

How to Avoid Having Your Data Held Hostage

Imagine that you detect a few issues with the accounting firm that manages your books. You decide to hire a third party to independently review their work. However, when you request access to your books, the firm refuses to provide it. As a business owner, you might be compelled to fire or even sue this company. And rightfully so. It’s your data.

So, why is similar treatment of data properties so common in the digital marketing industry? Specifically, why do agencies think it’s OK to withhold data that belongs to their clients? It’s one thing if an agency or company holds your data because you haven’t paid for their services per a prior agreement. However, you should still have access to it regardless. It’s your data, which is a living, breathing, highly personalized set of information and shouldn’t be treated as anything less.

Over the years, when WrightIMC would ask a new client about their experience with their previous agency, they’d normally say they were satisfied with the leads they were getting. This begged the question: “Then why did you leave?” The common response was that they wanted more and their ex-agency simply couldn’t deliver. Then, we’d go and do some research of our own on the matter – in most cases with little to no preexisting data.

In almost every case where our clients had managed to obtain access to their Analytics and/or AdWords accounts, we found that their old agencies were counting leads that shouldn’t have been attributed to them in the first place, like branded organic leads. In other words, their previous agencies were taking credit for the leads their clients had worked hard on their own to build upon and then they would charge them for it. Yuck.

It’s important to know if a lead is branded, non-branded, organic, or paid. I can show you how easily this can be done by accessing your analytics.

Sourcing Your Leads in Analytics

Here are a few ways you can check and source your leads in Analytics. One of the easiest ways to source your leads is to go to the Conversions Overview tab:


The tab breaks down the following: leads generated directly, leads that resulted from people typing in your site or clicking on bookmarks, organic leads, and leads from site referrals.

Non-Branded vs Branded vs (Not Provided)

You’ll want to split your traffic into three buckets: Non-Branded, Branded, and (not provided).

  1. Go to Acquisitions – Keywords – Organic (or Paid) and set up a filter.

  2. Click “advanced” and change the drop-down from “Include” to “Exclude”.

  3. Next, enter your brand name in the text box. Now, this won’t filter out everything, as you may have different variations of how people type in your website name. You can add more keywords to exclude by clicking “+ Add a dimension or metric”


I recommend also excluding “(not provided).” This will get you your non-branded organic traffic. You should jot it down somewhere. Then, simply change “Exclude” to “Include” to get your branded traffic with (not provided) still excluded and jot those numbers down.

Extrapolating (not provided)

There really isn’t a great way to dissect your (not provided) traffic apart and into non-branded vs branded buckets. However, I recommend using the data that you have from above to get an idea. So, if your branded traffic makes up 30 percent of your organic traffic, then apply that to your (not provided). To view your (not provided) traffic, remove all the other filters you created and just include (not provided).

As you get better, you’ll find there are faster and better ways to do this, such as creating advanced segments and using regex. However, that is beyond the scope of this blog post, which I’ll explain in detail in a future post.

It’s Your Data. You Paid for It.

It’s important that you keep all your data. This will show you historically what has worked and what hasn’t. For example, let’s say you spent $50,000 in media each year in AdWords and there were no results. You would want to know what was done so you don’t repeat the same mistakes, right? Otherwise, the next guy running your account will go in blind, which runs the risk of repeating unsuccessful history before it’s figured out. This will cost you time and money. Don’t fall into that trap. Get and save your data.


It’s been a while, but sometimes I’ll hear that an agency cannot give Analytics access to their client because in doing so, it would give access to all of their other clients’ accounts. Don’t fall for this! In Google Analytics, you can obtain administrative access to your specific account, give access and choose permissions.



It’s the same with Analytics. If an agency builds an AdWords account and then refuses to give you access because it would give you access to their entire client roster, I’ll be the first to go on the record here: I call BS! Google has made a wonderful system known as “My Client Center,” which allows businesses to manage multiple accounts and give separate access at many different levels. So if an agency already has your account, ask them to add your email with administrative access.

Even better, if you’re just starting out with Pay Per Click, set up the account first and then give your agency your Customer ID. This will make them a “client manager” and they will never be able to hold your data hostage.

Remember, it’s your account. You’re hiring us as your agency to manage it – not leverage it, steal it, or hold it hostage. Your data is valuable and will help you grow and prevent future mistakes.

We’re advocates for our clients minimizing data-related mistakes. The best way we can do that is to be transparent with you about your data

How to Avoid Having Your Data Held Hostage

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Amazon’s Ad Network is Not a Game Changer http://wrightimc.com/amazons-ad-network-game-changer/ http://wrightimc.com/amazons-ad-network-game-changer/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:35:55 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=5984 Many may have seen something about the Amazon ad network. This is not a game-changer. Amazon is part of Google’s Search Partner Network. That means that users running ads on Google Search may have their ads appear on Amazon search result pages. With this move, Amazon will only be cutting into Google’s market share only [...]

Amazon’s Ad Network is Not a Game Changer

Many may have seen something about the Amazon ad network. This is not a game-changer. Amazon is part of Google’s Search Partner Network. That means that users running ads on Google Search may have their ads appear on Amazon search result pages. With this move, Amazon will only be cutting into Google’s market share only in the manner of protecting Amazon’s own market share. Amazon may branch out and do other things like retargeting, later, but for now, this is not a competition in search.

Amazon is the big boy in product selling, naturally. Google’s Product Listing Ads has been Google’s way to bring Google Shopping to their main Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).  Thus, Google has been trying to muscle in on Amazon’s territory. For us marketers, this is only an issue for those running eCom sites.

If you want more news that seems exciting but isn’t, Google “yahoo gemini”. Yahoo! is tired of receiving disappointing revenue from Bing Ads, but they’re not ready to jump ship just yet. Their contract stipulates that Bing Ads will serve desktop ads for Yahoo! Search. So, several months back they launched their own search-based ad platform for mobile devices. They’ve started by only serving up the biggest Yahoo! customers, but this may expand to all. They are Yahoo! customers at a certain dollar amount spend (I think $8,000/month). This may sound exciting until you realize the paltry volume of Yahoo! Search on mobile devices. Without a partner mobile network like Apple, who cares?

Who are some of the partners that could swing percentages? More partners of Google Search are Ask.com and AOL. Bing landed the upcoming Siri deal, which might have a little impact if Siri is any better, but what happens if Apple’s Safari or Mozilla’s Firefox jumped off the Google bandwagon? Well, someone would have to prove they can better generate revenue, and Microsoft keeps lagging way behind.

Oh, did you hear that Bing is going to copy Google’s jump into Close Variants? Really, someone is going to have to do better if they’re looking at knocking Google off the mountaintop.

Edit: Since writing this blog a couple days ago, the news was released about Amazon buying the streaming gaming company, Twitch, out from under Google’s nose. Amazon’s ad platform is likely more than just coincidence. But it is clear they have been working on the ad platform idea for some time; longer than they would have known they were landing the Twitch deal.

Amazon’s Ad Network is Not a Game Changer

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Using on-page research for content strategy http://wrightimc.com/using-page-research-content-strategy/ http://wrightimc.com/using-page-research-content-strategy/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:24:45 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=5961 Whether you’re building a new site or optimizing an existing one, you should be aware of what your competitors are doing in terms of their websites’ content and optimization. Why? Because you are competing with them for the same visitors. In the new era of OC/DC, it’s all about content, and how we optimize its [...]

Using on-page research for content strategy

Whether you’re building a new site or optimizing an existing one, you should be aware of what your competitors are doing in terms of their websites’ content and optimization.


Because you are competing with them for the same visitors. In the new era of OC/DC, it’s all about content, and how we optimize its distribution and conversion. Winning at OC/DC is extremely important as it results in both capturing more web traffic and converting it at a better rate. It can also be measured in very tangible and direct ways (revenue from new sales, new users, advertising revenue, etc.).

Understanding your competitor’s content can help you win at OC/DC by creating (or refreshing) your content so that it is stronger than theirs. Here’s a few tactics to get there, in no particular order.

  • Eclipse: the idea here is to build superior content that “eclipses” each of your competitor’s most important content pieces. There are multiple ways to measure what’s important, but that’s for another post. Focus on making your content demonstrably better than theirs (tighter headlines, smoother grammar, easier to read, more frequently updated, better designed, you get the idea). Copyblogger is rich with ideas on how to do this.
  • Differentiate: create content that covers topics they don’t. Build your long-tail superset. In other words, zag.
  • Never Sleep: keep adding and refreshing your content so you’re a moving target and not easy prey. This will make both of the above tactics hard for them.


Since most content is usually summarized through headlines, there is no doubt of their importance. They contribute significantly to engagement and conversion. Researching your competitor’s headlines can be of huge help to aid in understanding their overall brand positioning and content strategy.

Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and URLs

It’s also useful to research how your competitors are using page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs to position themselves within search engine results. Not only is your search engine result position important, what they look like side-by-side is also meaningful. In other words, optimizing how your search results are displayed may give you an edge and win over visitors, even if even if yours is ranked slightly lower than them. Ever clicked on that third or fourth search result over the first or second because it felt more relevant due to a superior title? It’s also no secret that these tags are also used by search engines to calculate relevancy between search queries and page content.

The case study & framework

Here’s a case study in how to analyze your competitors’ content. You can follow the same methodology used here as a framework to study other markets or categories. When doing so, keep in mind that you may have to adjust things for your particular case.

In our case we’ll explore three Austin car dealerships that sell cars from the same manufacturer. They are competing for the same traffic and there is significant money on the line.

To study the competitive landscape at a content-level, you may also want to develop a simple taxonomy that enables you to categorize content for easier analysis. For local car dealerships, this could be something like: brand, car models, inventory, corporate, local, and other. While we won’t go into that level of detail here, keep this in mind as you analyze your own case. The idea is to look at the quantity of content that each of the competitors has for each taxonomy. This should reveal their weak and strong points.

The research

To get the raw and aggregated Headlines, URLs, Titles, and Meta Descriptions for the three car dealership sites, I used SiteCondor‘s* API and put together a few scripts that perform further content analysis. The scripts are open source and included in the github repository for our SiteCondor Ruby client.

* Full-disclosure: I’m a co-founder of SiteCondor.

You can also use SiteCondor to download CSVs, so if you’re not technically inclined this study is still feasible without having to connect with the API and do any programming. The API just gives you more flexibility and enables you to both A) automate the process and framework for any sites you’d like to analyze and B) integrate it with your own tools or products.

SiteCondor not only extracts these elements, but it also aggregates them. For a given unique title for example “Honda Civic 2014,” it will give you all of the URLs for pages that contain that title. SiteCondor also sorts the results so that unique Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Headings used the most are shown first. URL results are not aggregated as they are intrinsically unique.

Below is a screenshot for Titles used by one of the dealerships:


This quickly reveals this particular dealership is primarily targeting specific car models for sale. They are also appending the location, followed by their brand.

You can easily repeat this analysis for each element and dealership to draw some high-level conclusions. You should look at the volume each dealership has (number of pages, unique title count, etc).

While analyzing things at this level is useful, we wanted to go deeper and analyze things at the keyword level as well. This is necessary for large sites, as the long-tail of different titles could be of significant size.

For example, a given site’s most used unique title may be used 50 times and contain no brand-related keyword, but the same site may have 5,000 other pages with a unique titles that contain the brand-related keyword. Performing a keyword-level analysis across entire sites can reveal these strategies. To do so we programmed the scripts so that for each of the elements (Headings, URLs, Titles, and Meta Descriptions) they would:

1) tokenize the values into keywords, remove stop words and unnecessary symbols
2) analyze the frequency of those keywords across the entire site, taking into account how many times each unique value was repeated and weighting them accordingly (e.g.: if “Honda Civic” was used in 20 pages, that title would increment both the “Honda” and “Civic” keyword frequency count by 20. If another title used was “Honda 2014″ and found on 5 different pages, it would make “Honda” frequency count 25 and add a new keyword of “2014” with a frequency count of 5.

[Note: We coded the scripts so they can stem the keywords but decided not to do that for this post to keep things simple. Additionally, while the scripts gave us full results for the whole sites, we limited the results displayed below to “top 20″ keywords in this article, also for simplicity’s sake.]

The script also analyzes the length distribution for each of these elements across each entire site , also taking into account how many times each of those unique elements was encountered.

Here are the results:


The table below shows the top 20 keywords used on H1 Headings by each of the dealerships. Weights are relative for each of the dealerships and calculated as the frequency of the keyword divided by the frequency of the most used keyword.


Here’s a few takeaways from the table above:

  • Round taxonomy priorities: Brand, Competitor Brand, Models, Location
  • First taxonomy priorities: Brand, Competitor Brand, Location, Models
  • Howdy taxonomy priorities: Brand, Year (Model), Location, Model, Competitor Brand
  • In terms of volume for most used keywords, Round was a clear leader, followed by First and then by Howdy

The screenshot below shows the top 20 keyword frequency distribution.


All three dealerships have a similar distribution shape. However, the chart makes it very clear Round and Howdy are heavily leading in top keyword volume.

The chart below shows H1 headings length histogram for all headings.


Quick takeaways:

  • First tends to use longer headings, while Howdy has a slightly shorter length distribution, and Round uses shorter headings.
  • None of them had missing headings, indicating that these are not amateur sites.


Top 20 keywords used on URLs by each of the dealerships:



  • Round taxonomy priorities: Brand, Inventory, Location, Other Brands
  • First taxonomy priorities: Inventory, Brand, Model, Other Brands
  • Howdy taxonomy priorities: Brand, Location, Model, Inventory
  • In terms of volume for most used keywords, the order is again the same: Round, Howdy, First.

URLs keyword frequency distribution (for top 20 keywords):


Here again the chart shows the volume difference between each dealership site.

URL length histogram:


Round had the longest URLs (some probably too long).


Top 20 keywords used in Titles by each of the dealerships:



  • Round taxonomy priorities: Brand, Location, Location, Other Brands
  • First taxonomy priorities: Location, Brand, Inventory, Model
  • Howdy taxonomy priorities: Brand, Location, Model
  • In terms of volume for most used keywords, the order is again the same: Round, Howdy, First.

Please keep in mind this is just quick taxonomy priority analysis for illustrative purposes. For a more detailed analysis, we suggest you add up the frequencies of each keyword in a taxonomy group. For example, looking at Round, adding up “austin,” “tx,” “round,” “rock,” “cedar,” “park,” “georgetown,” and “serving” keyword frequencies would show how they are actually prioritizing Location in terms of volume, whereas their top most used keyword is Brand related.

Title keyword frequency distribution (for top 20 keywords):


Once again the chart shows differences in volume.

Title length histogram:


Round is using longer titles than First, whereas Howdy is using significantly shorter titles. None of the sites had missing titles or titles too short.

Meta Descriptions

As the patterns repeat, we will leave it as an exercise to the reader to read through the charts.

Top 20 keywords used on Meta Descritions by each of the dealerships:


Meta Description keyword frequency distribution (for top 20 keywords):


Meta Description length distribution:



This article doesn’t attempt to deliver a comprehensive content competitive analysis for the three dealerships, so we won’t focus on drawing conclusions from the case itself. Instead, we would like to point out the following:

  • Performing competitive content analysis on Headings, URLs, Titles, and Meta Descriptions can help you devise a content strategy that wins at OC/DC
  • You can use SiteCondor to extract the raw and aggregated data needed for this type of analysis
  • You can use this framework as a jumping off point and tailor it for your own needs

We hope you’ve found this template useful. For completeness, we would like to leave you with a few more thoughts:

  • Remember to not over-optimize your content for search engines. Those days are long over and if you do that you will get penalized. Leave the black hat tricks for the circus.
  • Instead, optimize your content for discovery and conversion by human beings.
  • Use this technique to find your competitor’s weak areas, and go after those first (e.g.: if most competitors are weak on a given taxonomy that is interesting to your audience, target that one first).
  • Not comprehensive: while this kind of research can yield a lot of insight, don’t think about it as an all-encompassing competitive analysis. Mix and match it with other tools, data, and processes to complete the picture. SiteCondor job results are a great way to achieve this at the on-page analysis level, and there are many other tools out there that can help better understand your competitor’s distribution strategy with regards to social media, backlinks, rankings, and more.

Good luck!

About the Author

Sebastián Brocher is the co-founder of SiteCondor, a site analysis tool for digital marketing experts.

In addition to founding several startups, he holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology (ITBA), and is fluent in Spanish, French, and English.




Using on-page research for content strategy

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PR and Advertising Folks: If you are threatened by SEO, you’re doing it wrong http://wrightimc.com/pr-advertising-folks-threatened-seo-youre-wrong/ http://wrightimc.com/pr-advertising-folks-threatened-seo-youre-wrong/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:07:05 +0000 http://wrightimc.com/?p=5948 In the last six weeks, WrightIMC has lost several bids for contracts – not because of price, competition or capabilities. We lost because one or more of the influencers or decision makers felt threatened by the services we offer. In the recent cases, it was the public relations – or corporate communications – team that [...]

PR and Advertising Folks: If you are threatened by SEO, you’re doing it wrong

In the last six weeks, WrightIMC has lost several bids for contracts – not because of price, competition or capabilities. We lost because one or more of the influencers or decision makers felt threatened by the services we offer.

In the recent cases, it was the public relations – or corporate communications – team that perceived us as a threat. But, this isn’t a new phenomenon – and it’s not always the PR department that kills the deal. In the past I’ve seen SEO contracts halted by advertising, IT and even corporate marketing.

PR and SEO working together

Enterprise-level web presence management is hard. Trying to fit digital strategies into old corporate structures often results in square pegs being pounded into round holes. The end result can be uncomfortable for everyone involved. But, why does this happen? It’s important to understand how modern digital marketing has evolved to get the full picture.

Once upon a time there was no digital marketing. Most corporations had marketing departments that hired advertising and public relations agencies to help spread the message. The corporate marketing person was more of a gatekeeper, ensuring that the brand’s message was consistent with the Don Draper-like creative ideas coming in from the agencies. Public relations professionals were on hand (usually from an agency) to deal with the media – both proactively and reactively when a negative item reared its ugly head. During this time (from the late 1950s all the way to the early2000s), the agency/client relationship was dominated by glad-handing account service people from agencies placating fussy and nervous client contacts, while creative agency people tried to push the brand’s message with appealing and targeted advertising and marketing.

This was the time of corporate spending accounts, three-martini lunches, golf outings, and corporate politics. The measurable success of an ad campaign was based upon specious research and, ultimately, gross sales figures. New York City department store magnate John Wanamaker’s famous saying (uttered well before the era we’re discussing), “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” had never been more true.

As time wore on, in-house advertising departments became more common. By the 1990s, a study by Alvin J. Silk found that nearly half of all major advertisers had some sort of in-house agency component. If you’re interested in the evolution of the in-house agency, I suggest reading this interview with Silk in 2008.

As in-house advertising capabilities grew, there were lines drawn in the sand. PR and Advertising had very defined roles. Marketing was another role entirely. The definitions and job descriptions of every player were expected to be followed. God forbid the PR agency place a media buy or the advertising agency pull a media stunt. The worst advertising problems of the era happened when departments over-stepped their unwritten boundaries.  I personally experienced this in my days at a large PR agency in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. I was the digital guy, and no one knew exactly where I fit into the established culture.

For that matter, where did search fit? Back in those days, SEO was viewed as a technical tactic. It was more about the code of the site. By tweaking the meta data, title tags and making the site readable to search engines, your job was considered done. No one would dream of letting an SEO have a say in the actual content of a site. I had epic duels with more than one creative director who wanted to create a “really cool animated site” that was completely built in Flash … and virtually invisible to search engines.

 Then paid search came along. No one knew if this fit into advertising or public relations. On the one hand, it was paid for, but most traditional media buyers didn’t have the knowledge to work in what was an auction environment called Overture. Other platforms came in as well – this was during the rise of the banner ad – and virtually everyone agreed these were the advertising guys’ responsibility. Then AdWords came along, and suddenly search was the hottest advertising medium on the planet.

In the meantime, the digital agency started growing some legs, mostly because corporations didn’t know how to manage digital in-house. Most of the first digitally-focused agencies were either small shops started by practitioners who had shown success in digital products, or half-hearted attempts by large advertising holding companies to look cool. Some of the small-practitioner agencies are now the largest in the digital space and are now owned by the large advertising holding companies. Few of the early iterations of holding company digital attempts are still around.

Now, things have changed. Search Engine Marketing has a big-boy seat at the overall marketing table. But, the consumers of media are different. Digital fragmentation makes the cable wars of the 90s look tame. Google doesn’t rely on the code tweaks made by SEOs to rank search results as much. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say if you are just doing SEO via on-site techniques, you are not doing SEO.

SEO Head of TableDigital has become its own ecosystem. It’s an ecosystem where success isn’t determined by the actions of one group. In fact, current digital success is more akin to the old way of doing advertising than ever before.

Sure, there are still technical items that have to be ironed out. However, it’s really more about how the creative is syndicated and consumed by the target market. At WrightIMC, we believe a corporation’s marketing should revolve around its website, where we own and control the experience. Our objective is simply finding ways to bring qualified customers to our client’s website, where a desired action (a sale, a phone call, a download, etc.) can occur.

Herein lies the problem, and it’s why we’ve lost those contracts recently. You see, a lot of what we do in digital advertising resembles what traditional advertising and public relations professionals have done for years. We’re writing messaging statements, doing consumer research, contacting influencers and media, and buying ad space that supports our content (see the rise of native advertising techniques). Our SEO processes at WrightIMC are designed to reflect the best practices of successful Public Relations combined with digital reach and technical savvy. And yes, there is frequently overlap with what is being done by traditional agencies and in-house teams. We know those traditional agencies and in-house teams have seen their territory shrink over the years. They’ll fight tooth and nail to preserve what’s left – even at the expense of their employer or client.

We’re not trying to put anyone out of a job. In fact, the best campaigns come when corporations allow those old lines in the sand to be blown away. Let the PR folks in on the media buy. Let the traditional advertising guys look at the digital media buy. Let the digital guys help measure the effectiveness of a television campaign by correlating website traffic spikes and brand search volume with specific campaigns.

Arrogance, or hubris, needs to take a hike – period. I’ve heard countless times from digital marketing agencies, “Those traditional guys just don’t get it!” I’ve heard traditional advertising execs accuse the digital folks of not seeing the big picture. I’ve seen both sides fight for shares of declining budgets. During this fighting, market share is lost, products aren’t sold, and CEOs are left wondering if any of this advertising stuff – digital or traditional – even works anymore.

Integrated Marketing. It’s part of our agency’s name. Blurring the traditional lines is what we’re all about. It’s not about whose job it is – it’s about getting the right thing done. It’s about getting the smartest guys in the room, regardless of their agency or in-house pedigree, to decide on the best strategy and execute it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we don’t need specialists. At WrightIMC, we don’t buy television or radio media anymore. We don’t produce video in-house. We don’t run affiliate programs. But, we have partners that do all of that much better than we can. We don’t worry about our partners taking our clients. In fact, I love working with others who overlap our specialities. It makes us better – and keeps us on our toes. If we aren’t providing value (and communicating that value), then we should get fired.

So, to you PR and Advertising folks who are squashing SEO contracts because you think the deliverables sound too much like your job descriptions? Quit trying to mark your territory. If you worked with someone who knew the search and digital landscape, you’d be better marketers overall. As it is, the spots where you’ve hiked your legs won’t hold off “intruders” for long. Right now, we can do what you do … but you can’t do what we do. Think about that, and then decide if you want to work with an agency that will teach you something. Or, work on your own and continue the path of the dinosaurs.


PR and Advertising Folks: If you are threatened by SEO, you’re doing it wrong

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