A Google keyword visibility strategy and valuable, highly targeted content are fundamental to this experienced online publishing enterprise
If you have ever doubted the value of keyword research and search engine optimization, consider the enviable success of Interweave, a unit of Aspire Media. It’s one of the nation’s largest and most respected arts and crafts media companies, with businesses in magazine and book publishing, online media, television and video programming, directories and events.
Interweave’s extensive Internet network of more than 30 websites and eight online communities, which includes some of the most popular art- and craft-enthusiast destinations on the web, recently added a community for anyone interested in creating handmade jewelry.
JewelryMakingDaily.com, which launched in May 2010, evolved from two earlier titles, Colored Stone and Jewelry Artist newsletter, which Interweave acquired in 2006.
“We have great archives in virtually every market,” said Bob Kaslik, Interweave’s vice president, consumer marketing. “Most of it can be reused and repurposed a myriad of ways.”
Content marketing strategy at Interweave embraces several disciplines. The publisher employs a rigorous Google keyword visibility strategy that drives its search engine optimization efforts. The company creates freemiums — collections of patterns and projects — and drives traffic to them using rapid conversion landing pages. Typically, they convert at the rate of 10 to 20 percent, Bob said.
“Everything we do in audience development is built around Google Visibility Reports. Our plan is to cover all of the content areas. Wherever we have content in each market, we want to identify the keyword clusters and create a freemium,” he explained.
“It’s all about search engine optimization. It’s all calculated. We go after the keyword clusters where the search universe is high. Eventually we have 20-25 keyword clusters for every community, and that should cover most of the search universe in any market.”
Keyword research is a continuous, repetitive process that also drives new product creation.
“We’re going to keep doing them all. We know that some are going to be more successful than others,” said Bob. “This is a point that I think I lot of people overlook. When we do the Google Visibility Report research, if we find areas where there is limited or weak content available, but a high search universe, and it’s something we could potentially be writing about, we will create content to meet the demand.”
“Instead of saying exclusively, ‘here’s what we have,’ we create freemiums that say ‘here’s what you’re looking for,’ and if our content isn’t great enough, we’ll develop more in response to the market demand.
“Right now we have 19 keyword clusters and only two or three freemiums out (for JewelryMakingDaily.com). Even though we’re growing quite a bit, we have a long way to go. It’s a work in progress. New topics come up that we hadn’t really thought about, so we’re always scrambling to create a freemium and provide new content on that topic.”
In the first two months since it launched as a three times weekly Mequoda hub email newsletter, subscriptions to Jewelry Making Daily have jumped from 20,000 to 36,000 — an increase of 80 percent!
Bob said an editorial team of three members has worked on the project “in their spare time.” He said that at only three times a week “you can’t really justify a full-time editor. Until we can justify five times a week, we typically can’t justify a full-time online editor.”
“Karla Rosenbusch, Merle White, and Helen Driggs (who work on other Interweave titles) have done a commendable job to help develop the Google Visibility Report and some really awesome content,” Bob boasted.
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The challenges of growing an online business include creating a large selection of appropriate and diverse products.
“Our focus is to grow the list and the number of products we have to promote. You need both to be successful,” Bob said. “Some companies have lots of products but a weak list. Or they have a huge list and not enough products, with insufficient diversity.
“One thing we’ve learned is that you can only promote a product so many times. There are only so many buyers for it. So now that the list growth has taken off nicely, we’re really trying to create a number of digital products. We have plenty of content for these in our archives.
“People like receiving content in different ways for different purposes. So it’s a matter of creating different formats for it — DVDs and downloadable PDF files. We will definitely be creating more videos. It’s one thing to read about something and look at diagrams, but when you can see someone doing it, you can learn much more quickly.
“We’re just trying to help people be successful,” Bob concluded. “If we can help them be successful, we’ve achieved our mission.”
Interweave’s network of sites include Artist Daily, Beading Daily, Crochet Me, Cloth Paper Scissors, Knitting Daily, Quilting Arts and Spin-Off. Additionally, Interweave publishes 16 subscription magazines and many more special interest publications sold on newsstands nationwide.
The company has more than 250 books in print and annually publishes about 40 how-to books on the same subjects as its magazines. Interweave also produces several major events for fiber and bead, gem and jewelry-making enthusiasts.