How to Recycle Content for Your Blog or Website

In our last content based article, we discussed how to choose blog topics that will generate the SEO results you hope for. We mentioned that there was certainly value in recycling or repurposing content from your blog or website when done properly. In this article, we will take a closer look at this practice including the proper time and place for it, as well as how to do it effectively. When we have content on our site that has been hugely popular or that has contributed to a high number of conversions, it only makes sense to use it as a benchmark for future content. Instead of allowing that content to sit stagnant on your site, recycling it can both bring back the same visitors who made it successful with a fresh spin, and also generate an entirely new crop.

Benefits of Recycled Content

When creating a new piece of content, in order to be effective, it takes a lot of time and effort. Because your time is valuable, it can be limiting if you are re-inventing the wheel every time you post. The research, planning, and writing of content can be significantly reduced through content recycling. The practice is also valuable to generate a jump in your SEO efforts. Having multiple content pieces that use the same keywords or focus on the same subject can drive more traffic, rank higher in the search engine results, and generate more backlinks. Also, if you use the same content, but optimize it for different mediums, you can reach entirely new audiences. From a standpoint of your branding, it also will help to reinforce your position as an expert on the subject and reinforce your desired message.

What Is Recycle-Worthy?

It may seem daunting to select the best of the best material for content recycling. It is true, not all content is recycle-worthy. However, finding opportunities to do it is not as difficult as it may seem. Your blog archive is the perfect place to begin your search. Simply start by reviewing your past content, or search for content related to the topic you wish to revisit. There are four primary aspects that you should be considering as you do this. First, the content should be high-quality. If the original content was choppy and full of holes, it is likely not a great candidate unless you plan to start from scratch. Also, the subject matter should remain relevant. This type of content is commonly known as “evergreen”. The message should be just as valuable today as the day it was first presented. Analytics can be of help as well. Look at the posts that were most popular. There is a recycle-worthy reason for that. Finally, think about whether or not there is room to expand on what was said. If you feel the information can be improved upon, added to, or has changed, it is probably an excellent candidate.

How Can I Recycle It?

There are many great ways to recycle your past content. Some are basic while others require some creativity. Use the selected content to create new posts. Simply expand on selected portions of the original content by adding detail, providing examples, or relating it to new developments in your field. The recycled material also does not necessarily need to be in the same format as the original. You could use the content as a basis to create an online slideshow, and infographic, or a video. If the content is truly exceptional and highly valuable, you may not need to do anything more than to repost it on your social media pages or highlight it on your front page. Another favorite tactic is to transform the article into an email series to send to your list or to create an eBook. These are just a few of the many valuable ways to recycle content. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and come up with some of your own.

Content can be expensive from a standpoint of both time and money. Moreover, while there is no way of getting around the fact that new content needs to be continually generated, there is still great value in squeezing every last drop of usefulness out of content you’ve already used. Recycled content can even be strategically placed in your overall marketing plan to boost traffic when you need it most. Just as a professional SEO company can help provide you with quality new original content, they can help you maximize the effectiveness of content you already have.

Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

How To Pick Your Blog Topics – A Few Top Tips

Having a blog for your business is an invaluable addition to your overall SEO strategy. However, to generate the results you need to bolster a competitive online presence requires consistency, quality, and relevance. Consistency can be achieved relatively easily by creating a plan. Quality and relevance are not always as simple. If you are adept at writing, have someone on your team who is, or have hired a professional writer or SEO company, it will make your life a bit easier. However, it can often be challenging to come up with a topic to write about. Furthermore, if a writer or SEO firm is providing your blog content, how can you be sure that they are relevant to your target audience? Fortunately, there are some ways you can employ to help come up with topics on your own, or check on the usefulness of topics provided for you.

Does the Blog Topic Make Sense?

One of the primary purposes of a blog is to generate traffic to your site, to demonstrate your expertise in your field, and to increase conversions. Because of this, it is crucial that the topics you choose be relevant to your audience. If you are a construction company, posting blogs about the latest fashion trends will not likely do much for your traffic (or your image). Put yourself in the place of your ideal customer, consider the topic, and ask yourself if it would be relevant to your business focus.

Is It Helpful?

There is certainly a place for blog topics that are general interest pieces. For example, providing a history of your market or how your product was invented may drive traffic simply because it is interesting to read. However, most blogs really gain traction when the topic solves a problem for your reader. If you sell high-performance engine parts, perhaps a blog about how to improve gas mileage may be a wise choice. The blog post does not have to be strictly dependent on your product or service alone, but may provide a solution to a general problem that can be tied back to your product or service at the end.

Is It Fresh?

There is perhaps nothing more damaging to your blog traffic than posting topics that have been over-covered, or that provide no fresh information. Again, there is a place for recycling content and finding ideas from other blogs on the web. However, the blog should either provide the information in a better way than has been done before or should have fresh information not found on every other similar blog or website. Keep it fresh, look for ways to improve on what’s already been written, and consider ways to say it in a way that is easier or more beneficial.

Can It Lead To A Clear Call To Action?

If you were writing purely for your own enjoyment, or as a personal outlet for your creativity, you could write anything you wanted without having to consider if your audience takes action on it. For your business, however, your blog topic should provide you with the opportunity to pull it all together for your reader and prompt them with a call to action. If you cannot easily relate the content to such a call, whether it be to contact you for a consultation or purchase your product, it may prove to be a waste of effort.

Writing a successful blog for your business should be done carefully and intentionally. Following these steps and doing your research can help you leverage your blog in ways you never imagined possible. The time it takes to choose the right blog topics and craft blogs that make that sort of difference may not be a possibility. If that is the case, look for time to block out blog work in your schedule, or seek out an SEO firm or content writer that can do it for you. The investment will be well worth it and an excellent way to an exceptional ROI.

“Cohlaboration” With Cohlab

At Cohlab, we have worked closely with many businesses to help them achieve great success in their SEO efforts. Our team can help you with your blog topics, as well as provide you with comprehensive SEO and web design services that ensure you become a force in the search engine results. Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

How to Set Up Free Google Mail for Your Business Emails

How to Set Up Free Google Mail for Your Business EmailsAs a small business the idea of paying for an email client for our employee’s seems like an extra cost that is un-necessary.  However, to ensure legitimacy you need to have a professional email address that ties back to your domain (website).  The problem with most shared hosting platforms is that the email clients really suck after using Gmail for all of your personal emails.  Therefore, most small businesses opt to pay for the various email services out there which incur additional monthly cost that could get applied elsewhere.  After much tinkering, we have figured out a way to utilize Gmail for your email client while maintaining the professional email address needed for your business.  Set up only takes about 10 minutes to get this set up which we outline below.

I plan on demonstrating this using cpanel due to popularity; however the same concepts can get applied to other email clients easily.

Google Mail Step #1

First figure out what email address you want to set up for your business.  In this instance we will set up a new email address called foo@cohalb.com.

Google Mail Step #2

Find your cpanel or hosting platform login information then log into the control panel.  Here is a screen shot of our cpanel after logging in.

Cpanel OverView

Step #3

Click on the Email Accounts icon that is inside the Mail section.

Step 3 Cpanel Email Accounts

Step #4

Once inside the mail client add in your email address then your password.  We use the Password Generator* to ensure that we have a very strong password.  Once you have added the password press the “Create Account” button.  *Note, you will want to copy this password to a secure location.

Step 4 Create Email

If the account was created successfully you will see the following message:

Step 4 Email Creation Success

Now press the home button in the upper left hand side to go back to the main control panel.

Step #5

Once you are on the main control panel, select the “Forwarders” icon under the “Mail” section.

Step 5 Email Forwarders

Step #6

After arriving inside the screen, click the “Add Forwarder” button which will open up another screen where you will enter the email address for the domain that you just set up along with the email address that you want to forward a copy of the emails to then press the “Add Forwarder” button.

Step 6 Add Forwarder

 

On success you will get the following message:

Step 5 Email Forwarders Success

You can log out of CPanel now as the verification email that you need later will get sent to the forwarding gmail address that you specified in the above Forwarder screen.  *Note – In a future blog I’ll demonstrate how to automatically clean up the emails left on your hosting platform.

Step #7

Open up Gmail, ensuring that you are logged into Gmail, and click the Wrench in the far right side then click the menu Settings.

Step 7 Gmail Settings Icon

 

Step 7 Gmail Settings Menu

Step #8

After you click on the Settings menu item, a dashboard will open that has a list of items across the top, select the “Accounts and Import” tab.

Step 8 Accounts and Import

Step #9

Scroll down the page until you find the section called “Send Mail As:” then click on the blue link called “Add another email address you own”.

Step 9 Send Mail As

This will open another dialog where you will enter in the name you can use to reference later and the email address for your domain, we will use the foo@cohlab.com as our example.  After you enter that information, press “Next Step”.

Step 9 Send Mail Other Email Address

 

This will then take you to the next screen where you will just press “Next Step”.

Step 9 Send Mail Through SMTP

 

This will then take you to another screen letting you know that an email will be coming to the recently setup domain account to verify that you own this email account, press “Send Verification”.

Step 9 Send Mail Verify Email Address

 

An email has now been sent to your new domain email account, do not close this screen as we will come back to it later.  At this point open your Gmail client to get the verification code.

Once inside of Gmail open the email from Google labeled “Gmail Confirmation – Send Mail as ….” inside of that email you will find the option to use the confirmation code or just click the link to verify the email account.  For this demonstration we will use the confirmation code.  Copy the confirmation code and paste it into the Google dialog box that is still open then press “Verify” which will then close the dialog box and add the email address as a row in the “Send Mail as” section.

Step 9 Verification Code

 

 

Step 9 Add Verification Code

 

To ensure that you constantly use this email address as your outbound email address, press the blue link for “make default” on the right hand side.

Step 9 Make Default

Below this are additional settings that will allow you to select which address should be used when replying to an email, in most instances since this is your personal and professional email you will want to select the first radio button to reply from the address that the email was sent to.

Step 9 Reply As

 

That is the last step in the entire process for setting up Google Mail as your default Business Email client.  I will add that this is the simple configuration which does have some caveats.  We will list a couple, however we are certain that we are missing some (if you have additional situations please let us know).

1.  This setup does not track the emails that were sent from your domain in on your server, therefore if you want to track the outbound emails in your system for logging purposes then in step #9 you would change it from using Google Outbound servers to use your own.

2.  If an employee leaves, they can still send email from your domain.  You can turn off the forwarder and delete the email address inside of your CPanel should this happen.

Use these steps to set up business emails for yourself and your employees. We hope you find this as cost effective as we have.