8 lessons before starting a digital marketing business; Plus, voice analysis for marketing; Thursday’s daily brief

Also read Search Engine Land’s guide to SEO: Content and search engine success factors

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Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, and do you approach marketing like an ecosystem?

I’ve been preaching for a while that SEO is the foundation of a healthy marketing ecosystem. Lots of people scratch their heads at this assertion, and some give me that, “Really, Carolyn?” look before they walk away. But hear me out.

The ultimate goal of SEO is to serve the searcher’s needs, to give them the exact content that answers their question at exactly the moment they need it. At its most basic level, SEO is about knowing your target audience and using that information to help them reach their goals.

If we let that thread run through the rest of our marketing (PPC, email, social media, web design, etc.), we can build an entire ecosystem on the notion of meeting our customers where they’re at and giving them exactly what they need at that moment — instead of focusing solely on our own bottom line conversions. When we do that we become their go-to resource on these topics, and we’ll be the go-to option when they DO need to buy related products or services.

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content 

Ready to go out on your own? Building a digital marketing business from scratch

With COVID shifting the way digital marketing works and upending our lives, we’ve seen many marketers decide to quit their agency or in-house jobs and go out on their own. In fact, the pandemic forced many into starting their own consulting businesses as companies laid off employees, according to data from Upwork.

If you’ve started your own freelancing business due to COVID or are thinking about launching your new venture soon, seasoned business owner Jamar Ramos has some tips for fellow digital marketers to make it a success.

  1. Understand your “why”
  2. Understand your offering
  3. Decide if you’re going solo or with partners
  4. Determine your rates
  5. Figure out your contract length (retainers? month-to-month?)
  6. Have a plan to hire help (before you need it)
  7. Learn how to deal with loss
  8. Take everything with a grain of salt

“I wasn’t ready to run [my first] company because I didn’t do the homework needed to build, maintain and grow a business properly. However, I learned from the experience,” says Ramos. And these lessons he shares are the result.

Read more here.

Search Engine Land’s guide to SEO: Content and search engine success factors

Content should be your first priority when thinking about SEO. Quality content is how you engage, inform, support and delight your audiences. Creating authentic, valuable content is also critical for search engine visibility. Indeed, that’s why the Periodic Table of SEO Factors begins with the content “elements,” with the very first element being about content quality.

Whether it’s blog articles, product pages, an about page, testimonials, videos or anything else you create for your audience, getting your content right means you’ve got a foundation to support all of your other SEO efforts.

Read more here.

Submit your session ideas for SMX Convert!

Our SMX one-day learning journey events, each focusing on a deep dive into one area of search, have been a hit with attendees. Our next one, SMX Convert, is taking place virtually on August 17th and we’re now accepting session pitches for that event. 

Once again this event will include learning journeys for both SEO and PPC marketers who focus on the different aspects of identifying potential customers and bringing those customers from awareness to conversion, whether that be a sale, a reservation, a filled out lead form, a webinar signup or however you define a conversion for your business. 

If you specialize the following areas or others pertaining to conversion please consider submitting a pitch.

  • Keywords
  • Content strategy
  • Optimizing content for SERPs
  • Structured data
  • CRO
  • Ad targeting and copy
  • Landing page design and conversion

We are always looking for new speakers with diverse points of view. The deadline for SMX Convert session pitches is May 28th! Keep in mind that speakers for this event will need to attend a few meetings in order to coordinate their presentations with the other speakers within the learning journey.

Jump over to this page for more details on how to submit a session idea, or directly to this page to create your profile and submit a session pitch.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected]. I’m looking forward to reading your session pitches!

Apple Search Ads introduces a new way to promote apps. Now you can reach users even before they search with an ad placement on the Search tab.

Twitter acquires Scroll. “Scroll has built a way to read articles without the ads, pop-ups, and other clutter that get in the way, cleaning up the reading experience and giving people what they want: just the content. Meanwhile, publishers who work with Scroll can bring in more revenue than they would from traditional ads on a page. It’s a better Internet for readers and for writers,” wrote Mike Park in the announcement.

Women in search: Why allies and networking are critical. There’s a kind of universality to being a woman in the search industry. The constant challenge of trying to find the balance between striving to be recognized as a knowledgeable expert and being dismissed as, well, “the B word.” These were common threads from a conversation with SEOs Nicole DeLeon, Aleyda Solis and Amanda Jordan on closing the gender gap in the search industry.

Marketers want to use voice analysis to gauge how you feel

“The user agreements of Amazon and Google—as well as Pandora, Bank of America, and other companies that people access routinely via phone apps—give them the right to use their digital assistants to understand you by the way you sound,” wrote Joseph Turow for FastCompany.

That means smart speakers and automated call center assistants are not only listening to what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it in order to better customize your experience. Voice sentiment analysis is the new wave of marketing, too. And it may seem like a Jetson’s future, but patents from these big tech companies point to the fact that it’s closer than we think.

In one Amazon patent, a device with the Alexa assistant picks up a woman’s speech irregularities that imply a cold through using “an analysis of pitch, pulse, voicing, jittering, and/or harmonicity of a user’s voice, as determined from processing the voice data.” From that conclusion, Alexa asks if the woman wants a recipe for chicken soup. When she says no, it offers to sell her cough drops with one-hour delivery,” said Turow.

So many consumers already think their phones are “listening in” on them when they talk about something and mysteriously get an ad for it the next day. This version of voice recognition would be that paranoia come true, essentially. “Consider, too, the discrimination that can take place if voice profilers follow some scientists’ claims that it is possible to use an individual’s vocalizations to tell the person’s height, weight, race, gender, and health,” wrote Turow. 

The concept of voice recognition in marketing has both interesting retargeting and privacy implications. We’re interested to follow and see where the conversation goes.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Carolyn Lyden
Carolyn Lyden served as the Director of Search Content for Search Engine Land and SMX. With expertise in SEO, content marketing, local search, and analytics, she focuses on making marketers' jobs easier with important news and educational content.

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