Katherine Stott

katherinestott

Katherine Stott is a South African based seo and content writer, sharing her views on inbound marketing and writing for the web. She's a yoga fanatic and earth-lover, retreating to nature at every given opportunity.

A Case Study In The Efficiency Of SEO Web Content

As a writer of SEO web content and a specialist content writer, I am honoured and grateful for all the work of this nature that is sent my way. It’s also because of this work that I don’t spend much time optimising my website or website content. A mechanics car is never running… as the adage goes. But it’s really silly to deny myself the services I offer to so many businesses around the world. So I decided to take one page of my website and conduct a little case study into the efficiency of properly structured and well-written SEO web content.

I love what I do and I really enjoy helping clients achieve their goals using my experience and SEO web content services, so I became quite excited to be affording myself some of the benefit too.

My Experiment In How SEO Web Content Works

I took a page from my website entitled SEO Web Content for the purposes of this experiment. Up until the 19th of May 2017, this page had not been populated with any web content. I had literally just left it blank because at the time of building my website, I ran out of time to finish it off and never got back to it. Total fail. But anyway… moving on. On this date in May 2017, I measured my ranking for the following keywords on Google South Africa:

  • SEO web content – not in the top 50
  • SEO web content services – ranked 19

For a business that offers SEO web content services to South Africans (and obviously businesses abroad, but my focus for the purposes of this experiment was SA) this was unacceptable.

I took some time to write up a bit of web content for this page and used my expertise to write and engaging title tag, a persuasive meta description, headings, sub-headings and the body copy, which details an outline of my SEO website copywriting process. I then submitted the page to Google on completion.

Within a few minutes, my title tag and meta description had been updated in Google ZA, the page had been indexed, and the search result had moved from position 19 to position 14. Note that I conducted the search in a clean browser. THIS is why I love what I do! Is that not the coolest, most tangible reflection of effort?

Google Search Result For SEO Web Content Services

SEO web content, being such a broad term, was still sitting out of the top 50 in Google ZA, so I dug a little deeper to see where exactly and found it lurking at the bottom of page 7. Not ideal, but as it is so broad, I decided to simply keep an eye on it and rather focus my efforts on optimising for the term “SEO web content services”.

Google Search Result for SEO Web Content

One Week Later…

After initiating my experiment and letting everything sit and sizzle for a while, I checked back on Google ZA from my clean Google account and saw that my search result had jumped to page one of Google. It now currently sits at position number five, which I’m quite happy about and will now work towards maintaining.

Experimenting With SEO Web Content, Title Tags And Rankings

It just goes to show that small changes can make a big impact, and that even by simply updating your title tags, meta description and SEO web content, you can enhance the rankings of an old page that isn’t performing too well. I’m off to go and do it to another page and see where that experiment takes me!

If you’d like me to take a look at your web content, conduct an SEO audit or implement new SEO copywriting for your website, please drop me a line here and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

 

Katherine StottA Case Study In The Efficiency Of SEO Web Content
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Starbucks SA – A Lesson In FOMO, Branding And Social Media

Starbucks made its official debut in South Africa today after a sensational social media build-up. Rosebank, Johannesburg has been deemed the first worthy host for the internationally acclaimed coffee shop, attracting thousands of Jozi-based South Africans to their outlet for a taste of the much-talked about coffee. This store is the first of a planned 150 – 200 Starbucks coffee shops that are set to sweep across the nation over the next few years, and it definitely got South Africans talking.

As a coffee lover (I’d like to consider myself a bit of a coffee connoisseur) I honestly found myself shaking my head in disbelief at the throngs of people queuing up for their frappuccinos and cappuccinos, but I also realise that it’s simply a matter of personal taste. Me personally? I would rather have a cup of our locally available Seattle Coffee Co, vida e caffé or even a homely, yet satisfying Mugg & Bean coffee. Starbucks tastes like sand. Sorry, Starbucks. You’re clearly not for everyone, but let’s also remember that this is simply my opinion. Add caramel sauce, whipped cream and yes, you’ve got me hooked (I do enjoy me a Caramel Frappuccino)… but the straight up coffee just never grabbed me. And yet from midnight last night, people were queuing outside Starbucks to hand over their rands for what I call an average cup of coffee. Prices are pretty much aligned with other local coffee shops, but is it even the coffee they are there for?

What is it about Starbucks that has everyone so whipped? Why would people subject themselves to the cold and rain to wait ages for their morning cuppa?

I’ve put it down three things:

  • FOMO
  • Branding
  • Social media excellence

FOMO

While I’ve been fortunate enough to travel, many South Africans haven’t. Many have not yet had the opportunity to experience the much talked about Starbucks that is splashed all over social media, the world-wide web, and sitting comfortably in the hands of their favourite celebrities. South Africa knew about Starbucks long before she sailed to our shores, and now we can all get a taste of her magical beverages. FOMO is real, and when it comes to “the latest thing” and the unveiling of something new, people want to be a part of the parade. Think H&M and Burger King. Same same… there will always be those in the crowd who simply must add “attended grand opening of Starbucks” to their list of accomplishments.

Branding

The fact that Starbucks has resonated with so many South Africans long before it even arrives in our country is a testament to exceptional branding. We all know the lady with her locks, the familiar green of their logo, everything about the tall, grande and venti drinks down to what a Starbucks shop looks like. You have to give them credit where credit is due, Starbucks have a solid brand that has stuck, even with people who have never had a personal encounter with their product. They sell an entire experience that is all about me-time, enjoying a cup of coffee and making new friends – #MeetMeAtStarbucks! Kind of makes you think about “The Central Perk” in an episode of Friends, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that came up during their initial briefing when creating the brand.

Social Media Excellence

The hype that has been created on social media is staggering. From the build-up to the grand opening, the Starbucks SA accounts have been firing on all cylinders, keeping fans engaged, inviting them for coffee and making sure this event stays top of mind. Twitter was ablaze this morning, with the hashtags #StarbucksSA and #StarbucksSouthAfrica accumulating innumerable mentions. But for each and every tweet, mention and hashtag that went out into the Twitterverse, a Like, retweet or comment came back from @Starbucks_SA; responded with enthusiasm and excitement. If you ignore the hilarious, dry and critical tweets from the anti-Starbucks contingent (I have to say that these kept me thoroughly entertained while drinking my morning cup of Seattle Coffee *wink*) you would’ve found that people are so genuinely over the moon that Starbucks is now a firm feature on South African soil.

Yes, they can piggy-back off an already established international brand, no, they might not be the best in coffee available to Johannesburg, but you have to hand it to them, Starbucks have won (most of) our city for the day! Deservedly so – from a marketing perspective, that is! 😉

Featured image from the Starbucks SA Twitter account.

Katherine StottStarbucks SA – A Lesson In FOMO, Branding And Social Media
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Keywords Versus Content Relevance

In a world where so many people profess that keyword research is dead, there are those among us who know that it can’t be, or maybe won’t ever be. Keywords offer a tangible means for content to be categorised, filed and managed, and it doesn’t make sense to me that this means of making content available in search according to relevant search queries could ever be done away with. I stand corrected, but even if Google can recognise intent via semantic search, there are still definite key phrases that aid the search engine giant in making sense of what a user wants.

Katherine StottKeywords Versus Content Relevance
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Video – The Importance Of Content Marketing Services

We had loads of fun making this little video; a first for us and first of many! Have a look. It’s more of an advertorial for our content marketing services, but we’d still love to know what you think about it. Constructive criticism is always appreciated. Trolling and negativity… not so much! In South Africa, video content has never been as widely accepted as it has overseas because of our incredibly slow Internet connectivity. Luckily the times are changing and with more service providers and options on board, we are finally able to enjoy faster Internet and ample video content!

Oh, and if you loved it and you want us to make you one… get in touch and we’ll gladly do so!

Katherine StottVideo – The Importance Of Content Marketing Services
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10 Ways To Boost Your Productivity

With the dawn of 2016, I’ve heard a number of gripes and moans around the social sphere about how short the holidays were and how awful it is to be going back to work. I’m a glass half full kinda gal, and I know that that griping and moaning is only going to breed more negativity and set you off on the wrong foot for the new year. No matter what kind of business or job you find yourself in, you can maintain a “can do” attitude and you can find enjoyment in your work. The fact that you have a job should be reason enough to express gratitude, but sometimes we forget how fortunate we actually are.

Katherine Stott10 Ways To Boost Your Productivity
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The Dos And Don’ts Of Social Media Scheduling

In the field of digital marketing, time is of the essence and we need to be organised to stay efficient and to be effective. Each project comes with so many different levels of communication that start within your personal team, run into the broader circle that includes your clients, and then extend even further to incorporate the client’s audience. Staying on top of our work and each conversation is made easier with the use of tools that allow us to be more productive. Social automation tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck, as well as Facebook’s built-in scheduling tool, are perfect examples. They allow us to schedule multiple pieces of content in one go, freeing up time later in the day or week. But does there come a point where we rely too heavily on scheduling and not being present enough in our work?

Katherine StottThe Dos And Don’ts Of Social Media Scheduling
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Using Press Releases For SEO And Inbound Marketing

I read an article recently that sparked some interest in me, particularly because of the opinions that were opposite to mine. It was published on Authority Labs and it was an honest look into the value of using press releases for SEO purposes. A question was posed to industry experts by Melissa Fach: “Can you tell me what you think about press releases as an SEO strategy?”

Melissa, much respect to you, but straight off the bat, the question is incorrect and misleading… because it’s already guiding the board of professionals towards a one-dimensional use of press releases as a standalone strategy, which is never the case. Had the question been more along the lines of using press releases as a part of an SEO strategy, then there might have been a different overall response. Still, the answers were interesting and thought provoking.

Katherine StottUsing Press Releases For SEO And Inbound Marketing
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