Here's a quick listing of places I often find great images.
Each of those have their own respective images and often suggest some paid options too. There are more sites out there but they are often subscription based and work on an upsell model so I normally dismiss those pretty quickly.
Search for your client's content or offering and then take the image into Photoshop or sign up for Canva (www.canva.com) and make it more unique. The advantage of Canva is the templates are presized to fit different social media requirements.
A lot of content marketing pros have recently been using pop culture imagery with the assumption they are protected by parody law. That's only going to hold up for as long as it doesn't look profitable for the owners of the respective material to sue. Basically you can use a screengrab from The Big Bang Theory to go with your post but if you are a sizeable enough company then you could eventually wind up with paperwork on your doorstep and be out of pocket for a few thousand dollars.
It's best to respect the copyright laws outright and not take risks. I worked with a company once who reused licensed images often and then suddenly while I was helping them refine their Paid marketing they got hit with an enormous bill. It was the owners fault for thinking it was okay to use the images in violation of the agreement simply because he hadn't been caught yet.
Honesty in SEO also applies to usage of stock imagery. 🙂
Here are some quick steps to make sure you have a good consultant or agency working for you.
1. Do they provide reporting on all activities to you?
2. Do you own all related logins and have administrator status across all associated platforms?
3. Do they work well with others?
4. Do they claim to know everything?
5. Do they spend they're time promoting you or themselves?
Without proper reporting an all SEO and content marketing you run the risk of bad SEO or black hat SEO being used to falsify rank efforts. These efforts often come in the form of backlink strategies or guest blogging or private blog networks and are all against Google's rules. When found out (through algorithm updates) your site will be penalized and your future rank efforts will be greatly negatively affected.
If you don't own all logins and have admin status or owner status in the case of G+ you run the risk of your agency or consultant holding them hostage should you choose to switch to another consultant. Recently I took on a client who used Rogers Outrank and upon leaving them they informed the client that all data and account information was in fact Rogers property. Rather than engage them in a legal dispute I reviewed the account and thankfully it was all done wrong and was wasting their time and money anyway. There was nothing useful in it.
Do they work well with others? If not it could be because the 'others' are more informed than you about the work they are doing and having expert eyes on their work may reveal issues you are not aware of. If they are nervous about working with others its a clear sign they should not work with you.
If your agency or consultant claims to know everything in the constantly evolving field of SEO then they are lying. There is no way to know everything about SEO since the variables change all the time.
Watch for this one. Many companies put minimal effort into the actual work and all their time is spent securing new contracts. This is especially true for larger agencies with compartmentalized 'fix all solutions' who just bring on more and more companies and shove cookie cutter systems at them. A unique strategy is essential to SEO and there is no catch all solution. No short cuts. And there should be no dishonesty.
If you have a bad agency get in touch with me. I have seen some of the worst work done by the biggest agencies and I will always show you exactly whats wrong and how to fix it whether you choose to sign on with me or not.
Now I have to get back to work 🙂
Reshared post from +mark hare
It's been a great start to 2015!
G+ has taken a lot of heat for not bringing the opportunities some hoped in terms of rank help or audience in general.
The "plus" side is when companies like , and experts like interact with you about professional developments in the industry.
I've been a little sick the past week and these little pick-me-ups really go a long, long way both in encouraging my professional development and pushing me to use more. And of course in getting better physically.
I've written in the past about the possible problems with G+ being the abuse of it for the sake of direct monetary gains rather than it's intended usage for spreading information and discussing it with like minded peers and more.
With some users stopping the abuse maybe the use will become a matter of quality vs. quantity. That seems to align with Google's overall goals anyway when delivering products and the search results people want rather than a lot of what they don't.
I was going to make an image in canva with something clever written on it but I think there's more value in posting this picture I took in a museum in Berlin last year because its cute.
Thanks guys and good luck in 2015. 🙂
My approach (found here: http://advsearchmarketing.com/search-rank-services/social-media-driven-search-engine-google-rank/) is tailored to the clients and follows Google's guidelines. You can take the document to any developer and they can create your site off of it. Not having that document ensures delays and ultimately failure.
The issue is most client's don't even know if their SEO is taking them for a ride. The client project I'm working on now has shown me a really bad SEO company (actually two) who are ripping off plastic surgeons all over North America. They outsource the dev to an overseas team who actually use Dreamweaver to makes the sites. This was conveyed to the client as CUSTOM!!! and it took over a dozen meetings to get the middle man from the middle east to own up to his scam. The SEO which was never documented or reported on consisted of back linking scams involving competitor sites and adult massage sites to try and fake rank for low hanging fruit that never converted. They got ripped off and many doctors are a part of the same scam.
So when you talk to your SEO expert get the approach in a well written strategy so you know what you're getting. Because of a lack of regulation and the infancy of the profession search engine optimization is littered with scammers who will take your money and hurt your site.
Having these steps taken care of makes content marketing much easier. Your plan is mapped off of what you will be marketing.
Google takes steps constantly to deliver a better user experience and that will inevitably come down to the site and the client. If you want to rank you first need to be worth ranking. Then hire someone who knows how to market within Google's guidelines as well as other platform guidelines.
This will save you time, money, and headaches.