Danny Goodwin has had an illustrious career in marketing, editing, and search. After leaving Search Engine Watch, where he was associate editor, in August 2014, he joined Linkdex to launch Momentology, which is described as, “[a] leading digital marketing strategy and news resource for senior marketers who believe in a strong customer-centric focus and want to learn how to be visible and persuasive in the moments that really matter.”
Below I interview Danny on Momentology’s goals and direction, what marketing trends are over-hyped and what marketers should be paying attention to instead.
What are the current goals for the recently-launched Momentology and how did it get its name?
The Momentology name comes courtesy of Linkdex Chief Strategy Officer Matt Roberts:
“Momentology is the study of consumers and the digital media they use and engage with throughout the purchase funnel. It’s how you learn to be there in those moments when customers are looking for things you sell and know lots about.”
The goal of the site is to talk to digital marketers about these moments and help them develop strategies to ensure their business is there, persuasive, and growing revenue. Businesses need to learn how to optimize digital marketing throughout the funnel. Momentology is the place to learn how to do just that.
You’ll notice there is no advertising on the site, which means we’re not putting out content simply to hit a certain number of pageviews or worrying about demands of potential advertisers, which frees us to really focus on ensuring we’re putting out the highest quality articles we can on the topics that matter to readers. Ultimately, we want to be a leading voice in important conversations or add value to existing discussions, and help shape where digital marketing is heading in the next few years.
The articles on Momentology are useful and really well-written. What is your editorial strategy when it comes to choosing writers and content topics?
Our top priority with every article is to ensure it ties back to the Momentology concept, funnels, or ways marketers can think about becoming consumer-centric.
Our publisher is enterprise SEO platform Linkdex, so SEO is a top priority for us as well. We’re always thinking about the keywords people might use to find our articles and optimizing the site architecture to people will find us in the moments they’re searching for topics we know a lot about.
We also are striving to achieve a good mix between:
- News articles that keep readers up to data on the latest research and campaigns.
- Evergreen articles written about topics that we know our audience always searches for.
- Shareable/link-worthy posts that are designed to be shared socially and attract links.
You left Search Engine Watch in July of this year. Can you explain why you decided to move from SEW to Linkdex to start Momentology?
I first became aware of Linkdex a couple years ago when SEW reported on some really interesting research they did on the variability of rankings by geolocation. Then, at Pubcon Las Vegas in 2013, I announced Linkdex as the winner of the Best SEO Platform category. Little did I know that less than a year later, this opportunity would arise!
Search Engine Watch was an amazing experience. I met a ton of great people through the SES conferences and on a daily basis got to work with and learn from some of the smartest and nicest people in the industry – people like Mike Grehan, Jonathan Allen, Miranda Miller, Eric Enge, Mark Jackson, Julie Joyce, Glenn Gabe, and so many more. It was a dream job and gave me seven amazing years packed full of career highlights and memories. But by the time I started talking to Linkdex about this opportunity to launch a brand new publication, it just felt like the time was right for a change and a new, exciting challenge.
As part of being a managing editor, it’s important to stay up-to-date in current industry news. What are three trends or strategies that you think people in our industry are paying too much attention to?
- Algorithm chasing: Google doesn’t owe anyone a living and will continue to decimate sites that rely just on organic search to survive or outdated tactics. Everyone gets bogged down in how important this or that social signal is, or how much of a signal HTTPS really is. There are hundreds of factors and they vary by industry. There is no one-size-fits-all formula. Start chasing an audience, a community, or customers and nurture and build loyalty so you can endure should an algorithm update strike. What is you great at? Are you truly the best, whether it’s in terms of content, experience, or price? If not, get that down first. The rest will follow, if you promote yourself using other channels (offline and online) and platforms.
- Content for the sake of content: The phrase “content is king” is outdated. Invest in GOOD content with context. Why does your content exist? What is the goal of the content? Who is it targeting? Does it tie into your business goals? Yes, your content should be optimized, but it should serve a greater purpose that helps tell your story.
- Optimizing for tactics rather than audience/consumer: Think beyond your title tags and website optimization tactics. People aren’t just visiting your site. How does your site compare against competitors? Do you have positive reviews?
And conversely, what are three trends or strategies that you think people are not giving enough attention or credit to?
- Usability: Make it easier for people to buy from you. Make it easier for people to consume more of your content and stay on your site. Learn how consumers actually use your site, not how you think they do. Invest in usability testing. Whatever your goal, remove as much friction as you can.
- Mobile: Lots of sites still provide terrible mobile experiences. Can we stop this soon, please? It’s almost 2015!
- Video: Consumers love video, yet brands aren’t delivering. Videos can help consumers at various stages of the funnel, it’s searchable, and you can reach users who prefer the format over text or other types of content.
What part do you think social media plays when it comes to crafting an editorial strategy for a blog or website?
Social media can be absolutely huge. You have to let the world know that your amazing content exists. The problem now is that everybody knows this. It’s not a secret anymore.
The biggest question you need to answer first is “why are you doing social media?” What is your goal? Is it to drive traffic to your website? Is it to let the world know you exist? Or are you doing just because some social media expert told you it’s a “must”?
Remember, social media is a two-way conversation. Many brands fall into this trap. Don’t just push out your content. Get involved in conversations and respond to comments/tweets.
Above all else, make sure your social media voice is the most authentic, helpful, and knowledgeable. You never know when one small positive interaction a person has with your brand may pay off down the line in the form of a loyal customer, follower, or reader – or maybe even a recommendation, review, or link.
BONUS QUESTION: What was the last really great piece of content you read that wasn’t on your site or written by you?
One really neat piece of content I stumbled across on Facebook earlier this month was an interactive map created by Jawbone that showed the various bedtimes for the United States broken down by counties. It works because it’s visual, shareable (with more than 2,000 shares), it presents data in a unique way, it’s a really quick but easy read, I’m sure it’s attracted a few links for the company. Most importantly, it has created some brand awareness for Jawbone and ties into the brand’s overall story, because they provide tools that promise to help you sleep better. Win win