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The 15 Best WordPress Themes for Podcasters in 2021

The number of podcast listeners in the United States is expected to reach 100 million by 2024. (For context, there are 82.7 million listeners in 2021.) 

Podcasts provide a source of convenient and intimate entertainment that’s only continuing to grow in popularity. While today’s
most popular podcasts
might vary significantly in terms of their content and hosts (
among other things
), they all share at least one thing in common — they each have their own website where fans can check out their latest episodes and seasons, info about live shows, biographies about the podcast’s hosts, and more details.

If you’re a host or producer, chances are you’re busy managing your podcast — and building your own WordPress website may sound like a daunting task. However, creating your site can be quite simple with a WordPress podcasting theme that allows you to share your episodes, seasons, host bios, and any other content you want to provide your visitors and fans.

We’ve curated this list of our favorite podcasting themes to help you share your content on your site and make lasting connections with your fans. To determine which theme best suits your needs, review these 15 options, their unique features, and our key takeaways. Afterward, check out the WordPress Theme Directory if you’d like to explore more podcasting themes.

1. Viseo

viseo  wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Viseo is a podcast theme with a “latest show” section for your site pages so your fans can quickly locate and listen to your newest content. You can also easily upload and add high-quality videos to the theme’s Locally Hosted Video Player feature. Customizing your site pages and sections requires no coding knowledge due to the theme’s drag and drop builder.

Key Takeaways:

  • Visitors can browse the “Latest show” section for new content
  • Share high-quality video content with the locally hosted video player feature
  • Customize your site with the built-in drag-and-drop page builder

2. Audonic

audonic  wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Audonic supports several commonly-used audio players so importing your podcasts is a hassle-free process. The theme offers dark and light-colored layouts and audio players to help you achieve your desired look. Your visitors can also check out your site while on the go since the theme is mobile-friendly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Upload several audio players to showcase your podcasts
  • Customize dark and light layout and audio player designs
  • Experience better responsiveness with the mobile-friendly layouts

3. Podcaster

podcaster wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Podcaster is specifically made for broadcasting and managing podcasts — it has an unlimited number of podcast episode archive pages so you can maintain your shows and seasons over long periods of time. The theme’s homepage contains an audio and video player feature that allows visitors to experience your latest content the moment they enter your site. There are also a variety of color palettes to customize your site with to match your branding.

Key Takeaways:

  • Add unlimited podcast episode archive pages
  • Utilize an audio and video player feature on the site’s homepage
  • Access a variety of color palettes to customize pages

4. Tusant

tusant  wordpress theme for podcasts preview page

Tusant is compatible with all major podcast plugins to make managing and designing your podcast’s site as straightforward as possible with increased functionality based on your specific needs. The theme is compatible with the Elementor plugin which allows you to edit and update your site pages and review the changes in real-time prior to publishing them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Integrate your favorite major podcast plugins
  • Design your pages with the Elemntor plugin
  • Display content in multiple layouts

5. Promenade

promenade  wordpress theme for podcasts preview page

Promenade’s homepage offers two types of formats: a static web page where the same content remains in one place unless you manually change it and a dynamic web page in which your latest content is moved to the top of the page so your visitors automatically see your latest posts. The theme has grid layouts for your audio and videos to keep your content organized.

Key Takeaways:

  • Format your pages with two homepage format options — static or dynamic
  • Organize your audio and video using the grid layouts
  • Arrange your site with custom navigation and menus

6. Life Coach

life coach wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Life Coach is a podcast theme with an ecommerce store where you can sell your merchandise — the theme has WooCommerce integration to make managing your store simple. It includes an events calendar feature where you can highlight the dates for your latest episode releases, live shows, and more. Life Coach also offers MP3 (coding format for digital audio) support so you can easily import and manage your podcasts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Integrate your podcast site with WooCommerce
  • Notify visitors of upcoming events with the calendar feature
  • Leverage MP3 support for your audio files

7. Vice

vice  wordpress theme for podcasts preview

Image Source

Vice gives you the ability to incorporate video backgrounds on your web pages to create an interactive and fun experience for your visitors. The theme’s responsive design automatically changes your site’s format to fit the screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. Vice also has pre-made podcast page templates with players that support Soundcloud, MP3, and Mixcloud audio so you can import and share your podcast in a matter of seconds without having to change its format.

Key Takeaways:

  • Incorporate video backgrounds on site pages
  • Change your site’s format depending on the device it’s being viewed on
  • Make changes quickly with podcast page templates that support audio players

8. GeneratePress

generatepress  wordpress theme for podcasts download page

GeneratePress is a free and open-source theme — speed, usability, and accessibility are the features that set it apart. There is an unlimited number of custom color combination options to achieve any look you desire on your website. Performance and design aren’t mutually exclusive with this theme, GeneratePress prides itself on providing podcasters with both to bring an immersive experience to their listeners.

Key Takeaways:

  • Get started easily with an open source theme
  • Customize your site pages with unlimited custom color options
  • Integrate this theme with the top audio plugins

9. Satchmo

satchmo  wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Satchmo is ideal if you’re looking for a podcasting theme where you can also share blog content in addition to your audio. Whether you’re an experienced blogger or someone who simply wants to share information about your podcast in a personal and accessible way, then Satchmo’s blog template pages will come in handy.

You can add icons in your headers and footers that direct your visitors to your social media accounts to promote your content and increase your follower base. There are also over 700 different Google Font options for you to choose from and customize the typography on your pages.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choose a podcast or blog theme for your site
  • Attract more followers with the social media account icons in headers and footers
  • Customize your typography with 700+ Google Font options

10. Castilo

castilo  wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Castilo has a contact form template that you can add to a site page so your visitors can easily get in touch with you. The theme offers a podcast stats feature to help you determine the short and long-term success and popularity of each of the podcasts on your site as well as monitor who’s listening to your podcasts. Your custom logo will also be placed in the header and footer of your pages to make for a professional and branded look and feel.

If your theme does not come with a contact form plugin and you’re looking for a simple way to add a form to your site, check out HubSpot’s WordPress Contact Form builder.

Key Takeaways:

  • Add a contact form to capture visitor data using the available template
  • Capture podcast data with the statistics feature
  • Add your custom logo in the header and footer of your site

11. Sonus

sonus wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Sonus has a customizable audio player that you can design to include buttons that fast-forward and rewind episodes, skip episodes, share episodes, change episode speed, or skip to a specific time in an episode. The theme’s pages are all formatted in a grid to keep your audio and written content organized. Sonus has responsive audio players that automatically change formats to match any screen and device.

Key Takeaways:

  • Include customizable audio players
  • Design site pages with a grid format
  • Add a responsive audio player that changes its format to work for any device

12. Castpod

castpod wordpress theme for podcasts download page

Castpod includes a MailChimp integration so you can manage all of your email-related content for your fans and subscribers in an organized fashion. With Castpod you can submit your podcast to an external service such as iTunes or Google Play with the click of a button. The theme’s Retina-ready design ensures all of your images are high-definition and look professional.

Key Takeaways:

  • Integrate MailChimp on your site to manage emails
  • Submit your podcast to external services like iTunes and Google Play with one click
  • Get a high-definition and professional look with the Retina-ready design

13. Onair2

on air 2 podcast wordpress theme download page

Onair2 is a podcast and music theme with an ecommerce store feature where you can sell your merchandise to fans. Managing your online store is also straightforward due to the theme’s WooCommerce integration. There is a customizable podcast page template that you can implement on your pages with an audio player that’s integrated with YouTube, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, and more. Social sharing icons are customizable and give your visitors the ability to find and follow your accounts in a matter of seconds.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use the podcast and music theme with ecommerce store feature
  • Design your podcast page template with YouTube, Mixcloud, and Soundcloud integration
  • Increase your social media presence with social sharing icons

14. Audioatro

Audiotara wordpress theme for podcasts

Audioatro has a unique, full-width audio player, called the “Audio Visualizer,” that’s placed on top of a full-width, background image on your page. The audio player includes a bunch of 3D bars that run across the bottom of your page to show listeners their timestamp in the podcast. These bars also rise and fall with the podcast’s volume levels to add another entertaining and interactive visual element. Audioatro also has two podcast-specific templates to choose from and expert customer support in case you run into a challenge that you need help troubleshooting.

Key Takeaways:

  • Incorporate the unique, 3D, video-like audio player
  • Choose from two podcast themes

15. Megaphone

Megaphone pocast wordpress theme preview

Image Source

Megaphone supports multiple shows, episodes, seasons, as well as videos and music content. The theme requires no coding knowledge so you can quickly and simply design your sections in any way you want. To give your visitors the full listening experience before they download your podcast, Megaphone includes a sticky audio player that follows them as they browse the site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Upload multiple shows as well as videos and music content
  • Build faster and easier without coding
  • Keep the visitor listening to a podcast preview with a sticky audio player

Back To You

WordPress podcast themes will help you share your hard work on a website that you’re proud of. These themes make it easy to manage your seasons and shows, include descriptions about your hosts, stay in contact with fans, and share the latest information about live shows and events all in one location.

With a wide variety of features, layouts, and customization options, you can achieve virtually any look and design you want with podcasting themes on your WordPress website no matter your level of web development knowledge. Download and install a podcasting theme today so you can begin sharing your content and building lasting relationships with your fans.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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What Are Email Whitelists, & How Do You Get On Them?

A few weeks ago, I planned a trip to Charlotte. I booked my flights, and the day before I was supposed to leave, I tried to find my confirmation email.

I couldn’t find it anywhere. Panicking, I called the airline. “Ma’am, your payment was denied. We emailed you about this.”

Very quickly, I learned the importance of email whitelists.

Fortunately, I was able to book another flight. However, this didn’t save me from the stress or frustration I felt at the airline for being unable to contact me any other way.

At the end of the day, you don’t want a similar experience to happen to your customers. And, as a marketer, nothing is more frustrating than realizing your email marketing tactics, meant to engage and delight new prospects, aren’t working simply because they aren’t being delivered to your prospects’ inboxes.

Here, we’ll explain what email whitelists are, and how you can ensure your company is on the whitelists of your email recipients.

How To Get On Your Email Subscribers’ Whitelists

To get on your email subscribers’ whitelists, you can ask your subscribers to whitelist your email address. Consider using simple language that frames the extra step as a benefit to the recipient:

“To be sure our emails always make it to your inbox, please add us to your email whitelist.”

Ideally, you’d include this message in the first email you send new subscribers to improve email deliverability at the onset of a new relationship.

You might use your own flair and brand voice to craft a compelling email message. HubSpot Agency Partner Yokel Local does this well in their re-engagement campaign aimed at reconnecting with customers who may not be opening their emails:

whitelist email example from yokel localWhile the email above is serving a specific function in an email marketing campaign, you can also include a more general whitelist reminder in the footer of all your communications like so:

whitelist message in footer

Keep in mind that not all of your recipients may know what a whitelist is, so you might also want to incorporate steps they need to take. To make the process simple, you can include links to the instructions for the most common web clients like this:

“To be sure our emails always make it to your inbox, please add us as a contact or put us on your whitelist. If you have a Gmail account, follow these instructions. Alternatively, if you use Outlook, click here.”

Just be sure that you accommodate the typical email clients your recipients use, which could even include Apple Mail, Yahoo, and more.

If you want to provide more specific instructions in your email, or if you ever have a need to walk someone through the process, here are the steps for whitelisting and email in the two most common email clients, Gmail and Outlook:

1. Click the gear icon in Gmail and select “See all settings” from the Quick settings menu.

In your Gmail inbox, there is a gear icon in the top right corner. When you select it, you’ll either get a “Quick settings” menu (see below) or a drop-down with several options to choose from.

gmail gear icon and quick settings menu

If you get the “Quick settings” menu, you’ll select See all settings. Otherwise, navigate to the Settings option.

2. Navigate to “Filters and Blocked Addresses” in the top menu.

Once you’re in your expanded settings area, you’ll want to click Filters and Blocked Addresses in the top menu. You’ll end up on a page that looks like this:

gmail filters and blocked addresses page

3. Select “Create a new filter.”

In Gmail, whitelisting an email actually involves creating a filter.

gmail create filter on filters and blocked addresses page

4. Add a specific email or a whole domain in the “From” field.

The “From” field is where you’ll specify what’s getting whitelisted. In Gmail, you can specify either a specific email address (e.g. [email protected]), or you can whitelist a whole domain by omitting everything before the at symbol (e.g. @domain.com). The former will whitelist one specific email address while the latter whitelists anyone who is sending email from that domain.

gmail-create-filter-process

5. Click “Create filter.”

From there, you don’t need to input any additional information. Simply click the Create filter button at the bottom of the window (next to the blue Search button).

6. Check “Never send it to Spam” in the checkbox.

Clicking the button brings up a new window. Here’s where you’ll actually specify that what you’re doing is whitelisting. In Gmail, you do this by checking the Never send it to spam box. Doing so will ensure that emails that meet the criteria you specified never end up in Spam or Trash (unless you do so manually).

gmail never send to spam checkbox

7. Click “Create filter.”

Once this information is specified, you click the “Create filter” button again, and this creates the whitelist within Gmail.

1. Click the gear icon in Outlook and select “View all Outlook settings.”

Sign in to the web version of Outlook. There will be a gear icon in the top-right corner.

outlook gear iconWhen you select it, a drop-down menu will appear. At the bottom of the drop-down menu, you’ll choose View all Outlook settings.

outlook settings menu with "view all outlook settings" highlighted

2. Select “Mail” from the settings menu.

Once you have the Settings page expanded, you’ll want to select Mail from the menu on the right-hand side of the page.

outlook junk email settings

3. Choose “Junk email” from the submenu.

Clicking on Mail gives you access to an expanded submenu where you’ll have the option to click Junk email.

6. Click “Add” under “Safe senders and domains.”

In the “Junk email” window is an option for adding safe senders and domains. Underneath this heading is the word Add with a plus sign next to it. Click this.

outlook add safe senders and domains

7. Enter the email address that you want whitelisted.

This is where you’ll specify what’s getting whitelisted.

8. Choose “Save.”

This will save your whitelist preferences and ensure that emails that fit the criteria don’t make it to your junk email folder in Outlook.

Whitelisting as a Best Practice

Encouraging your email recipients to whitelist your email or domain from the outset of the relationship is an email marketing best practice that can help you improve the deliverability of your messaging. After all, your prospects and customers will likely not take this action on their own unless they are reminded.

However, whitelisting is not the only factor that can help you increase deliverability. You can help mitigate the possibility that your recipients’ email providers mistake your emails as spam by following email marketing best practices, such as:

  • Using inbound methods to populate your database rather than buying email lists and sending spam email
  • Segmenting your email database to ensure you’re always sending the right email to the right recipients
  • Keeping your contact information clean and removing defunct or nonresponsive emails

All of this is so important in ensuring that your message is heard by your prospects and customers so that you stay top of mind and grow your business.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Google Posts: The Free and Simple Way for SMBs to Leverage Local Search

In 2019, nearly one-third of online consumers in the U.S. used the internet on a daily basis to search for local businesses. And as of 2021, Google had 86.6% of the market share of search engines — meaning, getting noticed on Google is an effective way to boost business volume and find new customers.

To help companies reach prospective consumers, Google introduced a feature called My Business Posts. It allows businesses to share relevant information that appears within Google Search and Maps results themselves, rather than taking users to a new webpage.

Despite their potential benefits, however, Google My Business Posts haven’t seen significant uptake from brands. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find a My Business Help page along with a host of questions like, “Do Google Posts work?” or “Do businesses really use Google Posts?”

In part, this lackluster uptake stems from the ubiquity of Google and our own familiarity with these posts — many businesses assume that Google’s algorithms will pick and place relevant data automatically. In actuality, companies need to create and schedule their own My Business Posts.

Here’s what you need to know about the best-kept secret of local SEO — and how to make My Business Posts work for your brand.

example of a google my business listing

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When crafting your Google Posts, you’ll have ample opportunity to grab your audience’s attention. You can describe your offer, product, or event in up to 300 words, upload an image, video, or GIF, and add call-to-actions to prompt product purchases, reservations, and newsletter signups. Your audience can share your Google Posts on social media too.

To make sure your business is constantly publishing fresh content on their search results, Google sets a seven-day life span on each of your Google Posts. The only posts that won’t expire after seven days are ones promoting events, but they’ll disappear once the events end.

Google Posts also has an analytics feature, which shows you how many impressions and clicks your posts get. This might seem like a limited amount of metrics, but they ultimately provide enough information to help you grasp which Google Posts resonated with your audience and which ones did not.

It’s also worth noting that Google My Business listings are free to create, schedule, and post.

While it’s logical to assume that Google would try to monetize the surging popularity of local search by selling ad space on company listings, the search giant decided to do the opposite — they gave every company with a Google My Business account access to a tool that lets them advertise on their business listings for free. Posts created with Google My Business will appear both in Search and Maps results, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for without being redirected.

How to Use Google My Business Posts to Get Customers

Originally launched as “Candidate Cards” in 2016, Google Posts would only show up in relevant search queries for political candidates who wanted to promote their brand on the search engine.

A few months later, Google decided to roll them out to a select group of small businesses. And by July 2017, the search engine made Google Posts available to every business with a Google My Business account.

Giving every business the opportunity to use Google Posts levels the playing field in the digital marketing space. SMBs without much SEO expertise are now able to leverage the massive reach of local search to grow their business. Consider that for the first six months of 2020, calls to businesses driven by data on My Business Posts rose 61% as customers grappling with pandemic pressures looked to verify if companies were open, closed, or somewhere in between.

Ready to try making a Google My Business Post? Here’s how.

Let’s break down each step in more detail.

1. Log into Google My Business.

Start by signing into your Google My Business account on your desktop or mobile device. If you have more than one location, select the location you’re creating the post for and then select “Posts”.

Worth noting? You can also create a post directly from Google Search. First, make sure you’re logged into your Google My Business account, then search for and select your business profile. Click “Promote” to get started.

how to log into google my business

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2. Choose the type of post you want to create.

Next, choose the type of post you want to create — Update, Event, Offer, or Product.

Now, you can add elements including photos, videos, texts or buttons. 2020 also saw the addition of COVID-19 Posts, which can be used to add temporary business hours, operating conditions, or safety and hygiene notices.

how to Choose the type of post you want to create in google my business

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3. Craft the post.

If your content isn’t engaging, regardless of the strength of your marketing strategy, it won’t produce results. Crafting captivating content is the only way you’ll attract your audience’s attention and gain their trust. To effectively connect with people and inspire action using Google Posts, here are three copywriting tips you can follow.

1. Create headlines that appeal to people’s self-interest or give news.

With only 58 characters to spare in your title, you must get to the point of your offer. But to get people to click, you also need to clearly communicate your offer’s value, benefits, and relevance. How do you grab someone’s attention with such little room to work with?

  • Headlines that appeal to the audiences’ self-interest
  • Headlines that provide news
  • Headlines with attention-grabbing words and phrases
  • Headlines that are clear, easy-to-read, and fluff-free

2. Publish Google Posts that are clear, concise, and compelling.

Even though you technically have up to 1,500 characters to describe your offer, only the first 100 characters show up in Google’s knowledge panel.

To immediately hook people and persuade them to click on your offer or read the rest of your description, try sticking to one message per Google Post. Spotlighting your offer’s main benefit or feature, especially in the first 100 characters, will make it easy for your customers to understand its value and increase the likelihood of their click-through.

Another way to boost your Google Post click-through rate is by leveraging scarcity. People value objects and experiences that are rare — having something that most people want but can’t have, boosts our self-worth and sense of power.

And since each Google Post has a seven-day lifespan, you can also align your offer’s deadline with your post’s expiration date and use words and phrases that evoke a sense of urgency, like “Exclusive offer” or “Limited availability”. These psychology-backed tactics will skyrocket your offer’s perceived scarcity and, in turn, its consumer demand.

3. Use a large, high-quality visual to make your Google Post stand out.

On a website that’s dominated by text, vivid visuals are refreshing and eye-catching. But supplementing your copy with a standard stock photo or amateur iPhone picture won’t grab anyone’s attention. Vibrant photos will make your Google Post stand out and grab the attention of your audience. So, make sure you take photos or record videos with good framing, lighting, and a decent camera.

You also want your visual to take up most of the space on your post, so make sure your photos have the minimum image resolution of 720 pixels by 520 pixels.

4. Publish your post.

When you’re ready to go live, click Publish. If you’d prefer to see what your post will look like before publishing, select Preview. Don’t like it? Click Back, then Edit to refine your My Business Post. Once live, your post will be visible on both Google Search and Maps results.

5. Check your post status.

If your post isn’t coming up on search results, head back to your My Business account to check the status. “Live” means it should be visible on both Search and Maps results, while “Pending” means it may be in the uploading stage, the processing stage, or is being verified by Google.

If the post status says “Not Approved”, it won’t show up on Maps or Search, but the question mark icon next to the post will show which content policies the post currently violates.

Google My Business Post Examples

Let’s take a look at a few engaging My Business Post Examples

1. Kate McElwee Photography

When you search “Boston wedding photographers, you’re shown a list of photographers in a list on the left-hand side of the page and their locations on the right-hand side of the page on a Google Map.

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 8.07.59 PM

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2. Boston Yoga Union

When you Google “Boston Yoga Studio”, a number of options appear in a list on Google. You’ll see the results on the Google Map.

boston yoga union example of how google my business works

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If you click on one of the photographers in the list, you’re shown their contact information, hours, rating, and samples of their photography, all without ever having to leave the Google Search results page.

boston yoga union example of google my business

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3. Bostonia Public House

If you search “restaurants in Boston” on Google, you’ll be shown a long list of restaurants paired with a Google Map showing you where each restaurant is located.

If you click on a restaurant in the list, as I did with Bostonia Public House in the screenshot below, you’ll be able to “Reserve” your table without ever leaving Google. You also have access to the menu, reviews, images of the restaurant, and more all on this page.

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 8.05.54 PM

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Use Google My Business Posts to Maximize Local SEO Marketing

As a free and easy tool for connecting with customers, Google My Business Posts offers massive potential for local SEO marketing. The caveat? While your posts will appear on both Maps and Search results, generic content won’t get noticed in an increasingly competitive marketing landscape.

In effect, Google provides the tools you need to get the job done — but it’s up to your business to create compelling, context-aware content that captures consumer attention.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com

MozCon Virtual 2021 Interview Series: Ross Simmonds

Whether you recognize his iconic tweets or have read one of his content exposés on some of the world’s most powerful brands, Ross Simmonds has certainly made a name for himself in the content world. Through his experience working with clients both large and small, Ross has discovered the perfect recipe for developing and distributing content that will drive real results, and he’s ready to share it with our MozCon audience!

We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome him back to the MozCon stage, and we connected with him ahead of the show to discuss how he broke into the industry, his content philosophy, and what he’s looking forward to at MozCon 2021.


Question: You’ve been covering content creation and content marketing for quite some time, so could you tell us a bit about how you got your start? How did you set yourself apart?

Ross: I got started in content marketing accidentally. It was a time when content marketing really wasn’t a thing. I got started by creating content online about fantasy sports. My first blog was all about fantasy football. I would create content three times a week writing about which players I believed were going to perform the best, and people from all over the world started to read this content and connect with it while I was living in my parents’ basement in the middle of Nova Scotia, Canada.

This is when the light bulbs went off that the internet is going to be big and that this whole idea of creating content online can give you the opportunity to reach millions of people.As I started to grow that fantasy football blog, the traffic went up while my marks went down and I had to shift that fantasy football blog into a marketing blog so I could satisfy my mum’s taste of wanting to make sure that I did good in school. She told me to start writing about marketing and so I did.

RossSimmonds.com became my website where I created content for years, and that eventually started to get traction and engagement from people again, all over the world, and eventually I transitioned, again, that RossSimmonds.com business, which was just me as a freelancer, into Foundation Marketing, which is a content marketing agency that works with B2B brands across the globe on content strategy, content creation, and content distribution. I have consistently been putting out new content on a regular basis on my blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and etc., for many, many years and as such, people have started to take notice and have been able to see my way of thinking around content.

Question: This year you’re discussing a new way of looking at content — seeing it as a long-term investment rather than a one-off creation. Why do you think this mindset is difficult for today’s marketers to develop, and what’s the best thing they can do to change their perspective?

Ross: The #1 reason why content is often seen as a one-hit thing and a one-time thing is because we live in a time where instant gratification has never been more easily acquirable and offers a dopamine hit. As such, marketers love the idea of pressing publish on a piece of content and seeing tons of notifications that people are interacting with it, liking it, sharing it, etc., and that is a great feeling to have.

But it is very temporary and what I’m talking about when it comes to content as an investment is taking a more long-term view, and recognizing that the assets and content that you create today can actually serve you consistently for years, if not decades to come from now, if you’re able to optimize, improve, re-share, republish, and create things that actually have a life cycle that goes beyond today.

Question: You frequently conduct case studies on businesses like Masterclass, Shopify, and Gong, who are implementing incredibly successful content marketing strategies. What do you think these businesses have in common that is driving their success? What advice would you give to other businesses looking to achieve similar success?

Ross: Across the board, all of these companies have an internal commitment to understanding the value of content and its role in creating a competitive advantage. A lot of organizations don’t view content as a force that can offer a competitive advantage long-term, but that is exactly what it offers you. If you create content for a significant amount of time that content is now going to be published and available to the public for years to come, and that content — if it’s ranking in Google for high value keywords — is able to generate value for your business.

Some landing pages that exist today that were published in 2007 are still generating hundreds of thousands of dollars every single month for some companies, and these businesses that view content as an investment and recognize the power, value, and scalability of content are the ones that win, because they recognize that it’s a great way to differentiate, that it is a very scalable methodology for growth and driving traction and engagement, and that is what truly differentiates some of these best-in-class content brands versus everyone else in the industry.

Question: At Foundation, you work with the full range of clients from startups to large Fortune 500 companies. How does your approach to content marketing change based on company size?

Ross: We start by understanding the goals and objectives with every single client that we’re looking to provide services for, and by understanding their individual goals, we’re able to tailor our recommendations and the ways in which we work with them based on their goals and what they’re looking to accomplish — but we don’t stop there.

We also dive deep into understanding what their existing resources are, how big their team is, the way that they internally communicate, the ways in which they’re resourced in terms of their team structure, etc., and we use all of that to make a decision around how we can better serve them to accomplish that overarching goal. We also recognize that every single company is different. They have different people, different goals, different resource constraints, and different levels of funding, some are private, some are public, and etc.

All of these things fit into the way in which we can serve our clients, and thus we navigate each instance differently and in a bespoke kind of nature where it’s custom and tailored to them.

Question: The way that consumers digest content is changing rapidly day by day. In your opinion, what has been the most dramatic change in content marketing in the last five years? What do you think is going to be the most important area for content marketers to focus on in the next five years?

Ross: Five years ago, everyone was talking about how you need to create more content and publish more content because all the gurus were on stage screaming “Content is king”.

You fast forward to now, and guess what? Everyone has listened to that mantra and that idea but content has become very common. There’s content everywhere you look. Right now, as somebody reads the words that are written on this screen or is listening to an audio version of it, they are consuming content.

Content has become easy to create and content has become essentially the bar. You’re supposed to create content. Now it’s more difficult than ever to stand out amongst all the noise, all of the hundreds and thousands of blog posts being published every day, and the hundreds of thousands of influencers on LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., and because it is so difficult to stand out amongst them, I believe that in the next five years, the increasing emphasis on creativity and solid distribution will never be higher.

If you’re in a boring industry, you still need to be creative and understand your audience’s pain points and needs and give that to them in a form of content that they will want. That is consistent across the board, and I believe that there’s going to be an increasing demand for creativity if you want your content to stand out in the months — if not years — to come.

Question: What’s your favorite piece of content that you’ve ever created? How can people give it a read?

Ross: A few months back, I wrote a piece called the The SEO Moat: Why SEO Can Be A Competitive Advantage, and it really speaks to the value that SEO brings to the market that often organizations are overlooking, even though it can truly play a massive role in helping an organization unlock millions of dollars in value for their organization.

Question: Who in the MozCon lineup are you most excited to watch this year? Anything else you are looking forward to?

Ross: I’m super excited to hear what Flavilla has to say this year. She always brings the heat and her perspective on the science of purchasing behavior is definitely going to be something I will be looking forward to hearing.


A big thank you to Ross for his time! To learn more about Ross’s upcoming presentation, see details on our other speakers, and to purchase your ticket, make sure you click the link below!

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Web Content Accessibility Guidelines: What They Are and Why SEOs Should Care

If you’re currently working to make your website accessible to all users, you’ve probably already heard about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This piece of US federal legislation was passed to prevent discrimination against disabled individuals, either by government agencies or private companies.

Even though the ADA was created before most organizations had an online presence, recent legal precedent shows that the act applies to the accessibility of websites and mobile apps just as much as it does to physical locations, such as stores, restaurants, and movie theaters.

The ADA itself doesn’t set out any specific criteria for web and mobile accessibility. Instead, many web developers and legal professionals turn to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), widely accepted as the benchmark for digital accessibility today.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at WCAG, and outline the steps you can take to meet its standards. We’ll also briefly explain why accessible websites typically rank higher in search engines — making accessibility the right choice all around!

What’s the link between SEO and accessibility?

Ensuring that your website is accessible to all users already brings huge benefits to your company — if more people visit your website, you’re likely to see an uptick in business. It’s that simple.

Considering the fact that one in four Americans are living with a disability, and that globally, the disposable income of people with disabilities is $1.2 trillion, making your website and mobile applications accessible to everyone opens up your products and services to a new consumer base, and can also lead to significant enhancements in the SEO of your website.

Consider this example: Search engines aim to promote pages with content that is clear and correctly ordered. This means that you need to follow WCAG guidelines on things like headings. If you don’t include the heading ranks in the right order — for instance, by placing text with a fourth-level (<h4>) heading after a second-level (<h2>) heading — you can cause accessibility issues for people using assistive technologies.

Equally, if you don’t provide appropriate alternative text for images, or if you mix up captions with alternative image text, you’ll create issues for users with disabilities and also damage the image SEO on your website. 

These are just a couple examples of how improving website accessibility can boost SEO, but for more, be sure to watch Cooper Hollmaier’s new Whiteboard Friday series on the relationship between accessibility and SEO

Indeed, any investment you make in digital accessibility will also be reflected in your search rankings. In its mission statement, Google says that its purpose is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” “Universally accessible” is the key phrase here. It suggests that as Google continues to evolve its search engine and align it with the principles of accessible design, websites with strong accessibility features will be bumped up higher and higher in its search rankings.

What is WCAG and how can you achieve compliance?

White box on purple background. Inside the box is an updating progress bar labeled

WCAG offers a set of rules for web developers who are looking to create accessible websites. It was created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a global community of public and member organizations that are committed to making the internet open to everyone.

Websites and mobile applications are constantly changing as new technologies and innovations become available. To keep WCAG guidelines up to date, W3C also works to provide fresh advice to web developers on an ongoing basis.

If you review recent digital accessibility lawsuits, you’ll see that WCAG 2.0 is the most widely cited version. However, you should note that this version is already out of date. WCAG 2.1 is now available and provides further guidance on mobile accessibility — and WCAG 2.2 is hot on its heels.

It’s also crucial to note that while “WCAG compliance” is a widely used term, it’s actually a misnomer. Technically, it’s more accurate to think about successfully meeting WCAG standards. The term “WCAG compliance” implies a regulatory body, and W3C is not an industry regulator, nor is it a part of federal legislation. That said, WCAG compliance is the accepted phrasing at both web development conferences and law seminars, so we’ll use the term in this article.

Does my website need to meet WCAG standards?

If you’re in the US, yes, it does. Every website that is used by a US citizen, or owned by a US company, is required by law to comply with the ADA. And because WCAG is often cited as a standard for digital accessibility during litigation, following its guidance can help your organization avoid costly and damaging lawsuits. The notion that any company is exempt from ADA compliance is a myth, too. 

How can I make my website WCAG compliant?

Four white boxes on a purple background, each containing one of four illustrations: an eye, a joystick, an lightbulb, and a gear.

WCAG sets out four main principles. These offer a solid foundation that web developers can follow to build websites that are accessible to everyone. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

1. Perceivable

To be perceivable, all the information contained on a website and all the features in its user interface — such as links, text boxes, and buttons — must be presented in ways so that all users can perceive them by at least one of their senses. If any content is hidden to any user, then the website cannot be considered perceivable.

2. Operable

A website is considered to be operable when all users can interact with it and successfully navigate it. If a website has any interactive features, all users need to be able to operate those components.

3. Understandable

All users must be able to understand the information and interface of a website. Web pages should appear and operate in predictable ways, and users should be protected against making input errors on pages that cause legal commitments or financial transactions to occur.

4. Robust

The content on a website must be open to interpretation by a broad variety of user agents. For instance, standard web browsers and assistive technologies such as screen readers must be able to access a website, and the content on a website must continue to be accessible as assistive technologies evolve.

How can I start my compliance journey?

Three white boxes on a purple background labeled:

On paper, the four principles of accessibility set out in WCAG sound simple enough. But how can you apply them? To help answer this question, WCAG offers more detailed guidelines for each of the four topics and breaks down each recommendation into a set of success criteria. WCAG also outlines several “sufficient techniques” that provide examples of how developers can achieve them in practice. Think of it as a checklist for compliance.

Each success criterion is also classified according to three levels: A, AA, and AAA. A indicates the most basic level of accessibility, and AAA denotes the most comprehensive. Currently, courts are interpreting the middle level, AA, as the benchmark.

While this article aims to provide you with a better understanding of WCAG criteria, it doesn’t list all the guidelines in full. If you want to find out more about each criterion, check out the “How to Meet WCAG” quick reference guide on the W3C website. This offers a definitive guide for each aspect of WCAG with suggestions on how developers can satisfy them.

1. A: Your website is accessible to some users

The level A success criteria details the steps you can take to avoid some of the most serious violations of accessibility principles. For instance, guideline 1.4 focuses on distinguishability, which simply means making it easy for users to perceive content.

Section 1.4.1 Use of Color is a level A success criterion. It explains that websites shouldn’t only use color as the primary way to convey information that indicates action, prompts a response, or is a distinguishing visual element.

If a website included a passage of red-colored text and the hyperlinks in that text were highlighted in green, it would be impossible for a user with red/green color blindness to distinguish links from the text. One way to improve accessibility would be to add another visual cue to the links, such as underlining them or using a different font.

2. AA: Your website is accessible to almost all users

To meet level AA, you first need to satisfy all the level A success criteria. Level AA guidelines naturally build on top of the level A criteria, providing additional requirements.

In Guideline 1.4, for instance, the 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) level AA success criterion augments the guidance of 1.4.1 Use of Color. It outlines that text on any page must have a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1 or higher. There are some exceptions if text is large, or if the images of text are entirely decorative or part of a brand or logo.

You can learn more about how to achieve the correct color contrast in our full article on the topic. For the purposes of this blog, it’s sufficient to imagine the difference between a website where the main text is presented as black text on a white background, versus one where the text is pale yellow on a white background. Black-on-white has a high contrast ratio, while yellow-on-white has a very low contrast ratio. Users with visual impairments often struggle to see small differences in color contrast, which makes it all the more important for websites to ensure that the color contrast ratio of text is high enough to make it readable for all.

The AA level success criteria also include 1.4.4 Resize Text, which recommends that users should be able to enlarge text by up to 200 percent of the standard size without the need for assistive technologies.

3. AAA: Your website is accessible to the most users possible

As with the two previous levels, level AAA compliance requires meeting all the level A and level AA success criteria first. To achieve level AAA, websites must meet even more detailed standards. For instance, in Guideline 1.4, we find 1.4.6 Contrast (Enhanced), which lifts the required color contrast ratio from 4.5:1 to 7:1.

Criterion 1.4.8 Visual Presentation adds to 1.4.4 Resize Text by requiring that text can be resized up to 200 percent, while ensuring that the user can still read each full line of text without having to scroll their browser window horizontally. This criterion also makes additional suggestions, such as allowing users to select foreground and background colors themselves, and specifying settings for line spacing and justification that make text easier to read for people with visual or cognitive disabilities, such as dyslexia.

Start improving the accessibility of your website

By following the principles of accessible design, you’ll also make it easier for search engines to parse and rank your site.

Of course, digital accessibility is a huge topic, so you may be feeling in need of direction! Happily, there are numerous resources to help, not least of which is the W3C’s complete Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which should become your touchstone for all things accessibility. You can also potentially use their quick reference guide as a checklist for major accessibility topics.

There are also many automated tools available to help you find and fix accessibility issues, including those created by my company, AudioEye, and you can try them out free of charge. We also provide managed services led by a team of accredited experts, so feel free to contact us for advice and recommendations as you take the next step.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feedproxy.google.com