Website traffic is a critically important part of lead generation for Mathnasium franchisees. The majority of our traffic comes from organic (unpaid) search, by way of Google. Our ability to get a high “ranking” from Google on organic search hinges on how well we play to the algorithm in their engine.

One way we have traditionally played to Google’s algorithm is through blogging. Although blogging is the most powerful free method to increase our organic search ranking, blog copy must be original in order to lift, rather than diminish, our ranking. Google penalizes (“suppresses”) sites with duplicate blog content as much as (or worse than!) it elevates sites with original content, so we must run our websites with this in mind.

In giving our website a thorough critical analysis, we discovered that too much of what we are doing is actually hurting our own cause. What’s on one microsite affects our Mathnasium site as a whole. We sink or swim together. In order to begin fixing this, the very first step we have to take is to minimize duplicate content. This means that, if you already have existing duplicate content on your microsite it can remain there; however, beginning immediately, any newly-posted duplicate content on the microsite blogs will be subject to removal.

Mathnasium is at a critical point in its organic search practice. We are currently running neck-and-neck for the top spots on organic rankings with several of our primary competitors, so being smart about the way we post content is paramount.

Analysis reveals a critical point in organic search among our competitors.

Best Practices for Blog Content

The good news is, we can be the winner in this race, so long as we all follow best practices. The easiest and most efficient way to do this is to share the national blog content provided by the home office, being careful to follow these rules:

  • Create an original title for your post. Don’t use the exact title posted by the home office.
  • Write a short introduction explaining why you think the article is relevant to your local readers; then, link to the article.
  • Engage readers by asking for their response on a question or sharing a key takeaway from the post in your own words.
  • If you want to copy a snippet of text from the original post to include on your own post, use quotation marks around the copied text. Quotation marks are how Google recognizes that the content is repurposed, not duplicated.
  • No more than 20% of the author’s original copy should appear on your new post, even if it’s in quotes.

Follow this same practice if you want to link to any other newspaper or website article from outside the system.

Remember that posting fewer, high-quality articles is better than posting more articles that include duplicate content. Even if you only post once a month, following these best practices will bolster your efforts instead of diminish them!

As an alternative, if you are an experienced writer and prefer to write your own feature-length material, follow these guidelines:

  • Write original content in your own voice and on-brand.
  • Ideally, write posts of at least 800 words. This may seem long, but it makes a difference to Google!
  • Incorporate keywords into your writing. Each month, when Marketing announces a new Monthly Marketing Update, we will also include 5-10 keywords for you to focus on.

We strongly discourage hiring writers from outside your staff, especially if they aren’t already intimately familiar with Mathnasium, our brand, and the subtleties of our educational philosophy. Whether it’s a staffer or a freelancer who writes content, make sure the content is written solely for your center, that it hasn’t already been published elsewhere (even in part), and that you have exclusive rights to it, so that it isn’t sold later to someone else. If you’re concerned that an article you’ve purchased (or will purchase) may not be fully original, send it to us at support@mathnasium.com. We’ll run it through a duplicate content tool to determine the article’s originality.

Of course, please do post news about your own center without being concerned about the length of your post. In this case, use a conversational tone and include plenty of pictures or video of your students (so long as you have model releases, available on the Marketing Matrix). Here’s where you can put your individual stamp on your blog, by showing your community the impact your Mathnasium Center makes on local students, families, and schools!

Look for more on digital best practices in the future on Matters.

— The Marketing Department

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