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Why Mobile SEO is Overhyped

Mobile SEO is a common misnomer in both the search and mobile industries. It simply doesn’t exist.

Why? When most people say “Mobile SEO,” what they really mean is local SEO. They’re talking about optimizing your website for users on their mobile phones doing searches on the go. For example, if you own a pizza shop and someone types in “Pizza” when they’re in your city, you want your result to show up first.

 

Is Local SEO the Same as Mobile SEO?

Yes. 

Mobile SEO is often presented as a new and emerging concern for website owners. In reality, it’s not new at all: It’s simply local SEO presented in a different fashion.

Learning to rank in local SEO means understanding the ways your users find businesses in your area, then optimizing for them.

Two of the most common ways are Google searches and Yelp searches.

Google searches depend on a lot of different factors, many of which are different than normal SEO factors. While being ranked well in the search engines for standard search will help, there’s extra work that needs to be done for local search.

You need to pay attention to citations. Citations are the number and accuracy of other sites that “cite” your business. These include the Yellow Pages, SuperPages, CitySearch and other such directories. Google uses them to validate your business to ensure that you really are who you say you are. Make sure the information from all the directories match your Google Places information.

You also need to pay attention to your ratings. The more ratings you have and the higher users rate your establishment the better your chances of ranking.

Optimizing for Yelp is mostly about getting as many reviews as possible, preferably with a high ranking. Getting a good ranking is crucial, but it’s better to have 200 reviews with a 4 star rating than 2 reviews with a 5 star rating. Focus on quantity first, but make sure you have the product and experience necessary that those ratings will be high.

 

Why Creating a “Made for Mobile” Site is a Bad Idea

Creating a “made for mobile” website is a bad idea for several reasons. First of all, it lets you be lazy on your main site design. It can also wreck havoc on your SEO efforts if it’s not done properly.
 

 

A great website should have great design. Great design will look great, no matter if you’re looking at it from an iPhone, an Android tablet or a desktop computer. Designing a second website just for mobile websites essentially means your main site just wasn’t designed carefully enough.

Many of the world’s best designed and most well known websites don’t have a different web version versus phone versions. For example, Apple’s website looks exactly the same on an iPhone as it does on a PC.

Having several different versions of your website can also cause search engines to get confused. It can get you penalized for duplicate content.

There are several ways around the issue. First, you can use rel=canonical to help redirect search engines from the mobile version of your site to your main site, if you absolutely have to have a secondary URL.

If you can avoid using a secondary URL, try to use flexible CSS and fluid layouts to help make the website look the same no matter what browser someone’s using. You can also use PHP’s user-agent detection to serve slightly different versions of websites to mobile users versus PC users.

No matter what you do, make sure there’s always a link to the full version of your website on any version of your mobile website.

There you have it. If you optimize your standard website to be top notch on both PC and mobile, you simply won’t have to do any extra work on creating an extra site. If you optimize your website for local results as well as global results, you’ll reap the benefits in both local searches and in the web in general, without having to put work specifically into “mobile SEO.”

 

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January 31st, 2012 by admin

How to Guest Post to Promote Your Blog

One of the oldest yet most successful ways to promote a blog is through guest posting. Guest Post to promote your blog

Guest posting allows you to get in front of an existing blog’s audience. Unlike just a standard backlink you actually get an entire page to demonstrate that you know your topic.

How do you guest post on someone else’s blog? Let’s take a look.

Finding and Selecting Blogs to Approach

The first step is to find blogs that you’d like to guest post on and approach them about doing the post.

There are two main ways you can do this. First, through getting to know all the relevant blogs in your sphere. Use, Google, Technorati and blogrolls to find relevant blogs and figure out which ones you’d like to appear on.

Alternatively, you can use MyBlogGuest.com’s forums to find blog owners who are actively looking for guest bloggers.

Once you’ve chosen a blog to approach, how do you pitch the blog post?

Making the Pitch

There are two different trains of thought when it comes to pitching posts: Either email the website owner first with a list of potential topics; or just write an entire guest blog and email it to them.

If you’re emailing them a list of potential topics, make sure you include a brief bio and a link to your blog so they can learn more about you. Make it short, or you risk your email not being read.

Make sure each topic suggestion is compelling and targeted specifically towards their audience.

If you’re sending an entire written article already, just send a brief intro in your email. Your whole email should be no more than two or three short paragraphs long. Let your article speak for itself.

How to Write a Successful Post

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to writing posts that other people’s audience will love.

First of all, spend some time on their site and get to know their audience. Know what kinds of topics they like and what writing styles they respond to. Write your guest post so that their audience feels like you’re talking directly to them.

Make sure your blog post answers a burning question in their mind or answers a popular question. If you can take a unique angle to something that’s been discussed in the past, so much the better.

Spend as much time on a guest blog post as you would on a post that goes on your own website.

After The Post Goes Live

A lot of the work in guest posting actually comes after the post has actually been published.

The first thing you want to do is help promote the post. Use Twitter, Facebook and your own email list to promote the post.

Why? Because if the post is successful, you’ll have a very good chance of having another chance to guest blog in the future. Also, if more people see your post, that’s more people who’re going to end up learning about you and seeing your content in action.

Also, having many successful blog posts on different sites will help build your reputation among the blogerati, further increasing your chances of getting more guest blogging gigs in the future.

Another thing you should do after the post is live is check the comments section religiously.

Remember: The people who read and post in the comment section are the site’s most loyal and active readers. If you win these readers over, they’re likely going to turn into active fans of your site as well.

Make sure to respond to every single comment that was posted in response to your article.

 

That’s the long and short of how to succeed in using guest blogging to promote your blog. Guest blogging can be an incredibly powerful way to get in front of audiences of people who may end up loving your content. It’s not the easiest link building method on the planet, but it’s very, very effective.

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December 6th, 2011 by zeeshan

SMO vs. Engagement: Why They’re Different and How You Can Rock Both

When it comes to social media, there are two factors that drive success: Social Media Optimization (SMO) and engagement. Often time’s these two are confused with one another. Though they’re related, they actually address completely different fields within the social media sphere.

So what is SMO, what is engagement and how are they different?

What is Social Media Optimization?

Social media optimization is the more quantitative side of the social media equation. It’s what allows marketers to tackle social media in a systematic and scientific manner.

Let’s say you’re trying to get a certain fan page to go viral. One way you can measure this in SMO terms is through what percentage of people repost your posts.

So if you post something on your wall and it’s “shared” by 1.5% of your fans, that gives you a benchmark metric to measure against. If you track this number whenever you post status updates, you can very quickly start to get a sense for what kinds of things get passed along and what kinds of things don’t.

This is just one example of SMO in action. SMO can track visitors to a page, the number of shares, number of likes, peak traffic times, best days to post and a whole slew of other statistics that you can use to optimize your campaign.

In other words, SMO is the systematic and scientific approach to getting more people to like your page, more shares and overall a more powerful brand effect.

What is Engagement?

Engagement on the other hand is a completely different ballgame. Engagement is the qualitative side of the social media equation.

It’s how engaged your fans are with your work. It’s how emotionally vested they are in your brand. It’s how excited they get about your product when they tell their friends about it. It’s how much they think you care about them.

Fostering engagement doesn’t come from statistics and calculations. Instead, it comes from regularly connecting with your audience in an engaging dialogue.

If you want to foster more engagement, make it a regular goal of yours to foster more activity from your users.

Ask them questions. Get them talking to you and to one another. Host contests that get them involved. Create games for your users. Ask for their feedback.

Pull them into your brand experience. Your users should feel like they’re part of your community.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

It’s important to realize that if you want to succeed on social media, you need to use both optimization and engagement.

If you only have optimization, you’ll have a very technically well run campaign, but it just won’t have that “buzz.” That “buzz” is what causes social media campaigns to take off like wildfire. It’s what gets people to stick around. It’s what people remember.

On the other hand, if you only have engagement, you’re probably not getting as many people to your pages as you could. If you’re not posting your updates at optimal times, if you’re not tracking what kinds of content your visitors like, if you’re not using systematic testing to determine what really works, you’re probably going to have a hard time succeeding in the long run.

In order for you to have a vibrant social media campaign that engages a lot of people, you need to have both optimization and engagement.

Start out in the area where you’re weakest. If you already have an engaged community but haven’t been tracking your metrics, work on your metrics first. On the other hand, if you already have a scientifically well optimized campaign but your user base lacks passion, start out by increasing engagement.

 

That’s the long and short of what SMO is and what engagement is. In the long run, you want to master both to get your campaigns to really take off. Your campaigns must make scientific sense, but they also need to capture the heart of your fans.

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December 1st, 2011 by zeeshan

7 Practical & Easy to Execute Tips on Link Building

For many people, linkbuilding is the most difficult part of SEO. It seems like a mysterious puzzle that’s Link-Buildingincredibly difficult to crack. But once you really get down to it, getting backlinks is just a matter of finding the right strategies for your business.

Here are seven practical & easy to execute methods on getting backlinks today.

 

Tip #1: Do Guest Blogging

Go to MyBlogGuest.com and sign up for an account. Guest Blogging ro Link BuildingThis is the #1 forum for people who want guest posters on their website.

If you’re an expert on a certain topic and want to get more traffic, guest blogging is truly the way to go about it.
Not only do you get high quality, high PageRank backlinks but you also get quality visitors from other websites coming to your site.

Tip #2: Analyze Your Competitor’s Strategy and Copy It

Analyze Your Competitor’s Strategy and Copy ItBetter yet, improve on it and push them out of their position.

Use backlink checking tools to figure out what kind of places your top competitors are getting their backlinks from.

Are they using guest posting? Or are they using article submissions? Perhaps they’re paying for backlinks?

Whatever strategy they’re using, you’ll know it’s working in their industry for sure. Copy it and you’ll see similar results.

 

Tip #3: Contact Journalists on HARO

 

Contact Journalists on HARO for Link Building

HARO or “Help a Reporter Out” is an online newsletter mailed once or twice a day to people who’re interested in getting interviewed.Getting interviewed for a publication is a great way to get exposure and get at least one backlink, provided you can get them to link back to your website.

Often time’s all you need to do is have a phone conversation with the reporter for them to place you in the newspaper, online publication or magazine. You don’t even need to write anything.

Tip #4: Generating Your Own Links

Generating your own links is still a very valid strategy. Although the Panda update has penalized these links somewhat, they can still be a significant part of your overall link profile.

These links include article submission links, links from sites like Squidoo or HubPages and profile backlinks.
Remember not to overdo it on any one link source, or you risk looking like you’re getting spammy links.

Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Pay

Don’t Be Afraid to Pay for Link BuildingDon’t be afraid to pay for either links or manpower for building links.

Buying links outright is considered blackhat and could get you penalized by Google. However, the realistic chances of you being found out are quite slim. That said, it may or may not be worth the risk.

However, paying for someone to post on forums for you or create social media profiles for you is completely within the ballpark.

Learning to outsource effectively is a big part of successfully running an online business. Don’t spend your time on work that could be farmed out for $3 an hour.

Tip #6: The Real Way to Use Blog Commenting
Blog commenting used to be a big source of backlinks. Today it’s not considered a solid source at all. The Real Way to Use Blog Commenting for Link Building

However, it’s important to realize that blog commenting’s real power doesn’t necessarily come from getting one link from the blog comment itself.

Instead, you can often get a lot of people to look at your site by writing intelligent replies. If the people who land on your site like your content, they’ll start commenting on your site as well and potentially link back to you.

In other words, there’s a lot of indirect backlinking power that comes from writing good blog comments.

Tip #7: Don’t Neglect Internal Linking

Don’t Neglect Internal Linking for Link BuildingFinally, don’t neglect the power of your own web pages. Remember that Google doesn’t rank “websites,” they rank “web pages.” You already have a huge and easily accessible source of high quality backlinks: Your own pages.

Each and every page or post on your site should link to 3-5 other related pages on your site. This is easy to do with a “related pages” type of plugin in WordPress.

As you can tell, there is a really wide range of different ways you can build backlinks. Some take longer and can get you higher quality links, while others are much easier but get low quality links. Your best bet is usually a mixture of different link types of with links of differing quality.
 

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November 28th, 2011 by zeeshan

Top 10 Tips for Creating a Good Landing Page

Your landing page is more important than any other page on your website. Why? Because if you don’t sell someone on giving you their email, purchasing your introductory product or learning more about your services, then the rest of your sales funnel will be completely wasted.

A great landing page will instantly grab a reader’s attention and get them interested in what you’re offering.

The following infographic sums up all the points discussed below and mastering these will help you craft an absolutely phenomenal landing page with off-the-roof conversions.

 

Tip #1 – The “Reader Callout” Headline

Your headline needs get your readers to feel like you’re talking to them directly. They should feel pulled towards the screen. They should instantly get the sense that their life can improve if they read your page and learned a bit more about what you’re offering.

Spend as much time as necessary on your headline. Most top copywriters write 50+ headlines and choose the best one, rather than just writing one headline.

Tip #2 – Play Up the Problem

Describe the problem and try to turn up the dial on the pain. If you can get the reader in the emotional state of being angry, frustrated or fed up with their current situation, you have a much better chance of getting them to take action to change it.

Tip #3 – Use the “You Perspective”

Write your copy from the perspective of your user’s benefits, rather than what makes your product or service great. For example, it’s much better to say “By using X, you’ll get A, B, and C benefit, solving your Z issue” than to say “Product X has E, F, G features.”

Tip #4 – Use Proof Elements

Why should someone believe the claims you’re making? Can you actually prove that you can deliver on the promises you made? Proof elements include before and after photos, celebrity endorsements, testimonials, video and audio proof and so on. The more the better.

Tip #5 – Reduce the Action Commitment

Try to make the first action you ask someone to take as easy as possible. For example, it’s much easier to just fill out a name and email than it is to fill out name, email, phone number and address.

You might get 20% of your readers to fill out the former and only 2% to fill out the latter. Make the first commitment as light as possible.

Tip #6 – Remove the Navigation

Don’t have navigation on your landing page. That directs the reader’s eyes to only the copy and the call to action that you want them to take. Pages with no navigation usually have significantly higher conversion rates than pages with navigation.

Tip #7 – Professional Design

Having good design isn’t essential for a landing page, but having unprofessional looking design will kill your landing page. If a page looks like it was built in 1995, your users aren’t going to feel comfortable typing in their credit card or even their email address.

Tip #8 – One Clear Call to Action

Don’t try to get people to take more than one action at a time. Your landing page should have just one thing you want your users to do, no more. Choices tend to reduce conversions.

Tip #9 – Use an Attention Catching Image

A before after image, an image of a celebrity using your product, or even an image of an attractive woman can often increase conversions.

The image must be relevant to your product and it should be attention catching. If it does these two things, it’s worth testing it to see how it affects your response rate.

Tip #10 – Split Test

To build a great landing page, you’ll need to test several different versions to see which converts the best. Often time’s a small change to a landing page can result in huge differences. The only way to really figure out what’s best for your landing page is to test, test, test.

 

 

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November 21st, 2011 by zeeshan

Benefits of Video Marketing

Benefits of Video MarketingVideo marketing is one of the hardest hitting, most powerful marketing tactics in today’s fast paced online world. Videos take a lot less effort to consume than reading text, they can be a lot more fun and they can spread like wildfire through the internet.

There are two main ways to use videos: To bring in moore traffic to your website, or to build relationships and credibility with existing vistors.
 

Using Video Marketing to Bring in New TrafficGet More Traffic with Video Marketing

Websites like YouTube, DailyMotion, MetaCafe and many more have millions and millions of visitors visiting them every day. A good video can easily get a few hundred thousand visitors; and a great video can even get several million.

In addition to the “going viral” effect, you can also bring in traffic to your website simply by creating videos that people in your industry want to share.

For example, if you’re in the weight loss industry and you did a top notch video on what scientists say about the top 5 diets in the world, it’ll probably get passed around. It’ll be “shared” on Facebook, “tweeted” on Twitter and reposted on message boards all over the world.

Videos spread, whether it’s through viral marketing or through individual shares.

Using Video to Improve Brands, Relationships and Sales

Use Videos to improve relationships and salesAnother place where videos can come in handy is in communicating with your existing customers. Using a video allows you to convey a lot more than if you were just using text.

Videos where you’re actually on camera talking to the audience can do a lot to build trust. People now actually have a face they can put to the brand. They have someone they can relate to.

When it comes time to make a decision on which product to buy, they’re much more likely to buy from someone who they feel like they know than someone who they’ve only interacted with over text.

Even if you’re only using PowerPoint-style presentations, videos can be very powerful. It allows you to communicate in images, audio, sub-videos and more.

How to Create an Effective Video

The most importCreating an Effective Videoant part of getting good video is to get good audio. If you produce a video where the image is a little fuzzy, it won’t kill the video. However, if the audio is fuzzy and people can’t hear what you’re saying, your whole video goes down the drain.

Invest in a good set of microphones. If you’re appearing on camera, consider investing in wireless mics.
Filming the video can be as easy as creating a PowerPoint presentation or using other presentation software to create the video while you do a voiceover. You can also have someone film you speaking from one or more angles.

The whole production can be done for under $500.

Editing can be done on high end software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier by a professional editor, or using free software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. For simple videos, the quality difference won’t be big, though it’ll make a big difference for more complex projects.

Once you’ve filmed and edited the video, the final step is to launch your video with a kickoff. Send it off to your email list, as well as your Twitter feed and Facebook page. If you have a blog, post it on there as well.

Are you using videos in your business yet? If not, now might be a good time to look into it. Video marketing is an exciting way to both bring in new traffic, as well as to build a relationship with your existing fans.

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November 18th, 2011 by zeeshan

5 Internet Marketing Techniques for Less than $30

If you’re like most people today, you are feeling the pinch from the weakened state of the economy. online marketing under $30However, regardless if you own a blog, website or ecommerce store and assuming that you are interested in making some money via the web, you simply must spend some money on internet marketing. This doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank by spending a small fortune. You can be very frugal in your internet marketing efforts as there are inexpensive techniques you can use which cost under $30 a month.

Press Release

A well-written press release is a good way to spread the news about your site. A press release is simply an announcement of sorts which is related to your website and which is written for the media. You can hire a freelancer writer with experience in writing professional press releases to write your press release for you. You could easily find a writer online who will write you a 500 word or so press release for around $20 to $25. You then can submit it to PR websites. The search engines look favorably upon press release sites which means that your keyword rich, well-written press release will be indexed quickly, giving your website or blog a nice temporary boost.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising

Another inexpensive internet marketing technique to use is pay per click (PPC) advertising. The beauty of PPC is the fact that you can spend as much or as little as you want and that you can purchase traffic that is very targeted. PPC alternativesWhile Google Adwords is the largest PPC program online it is also one of the most expensive. A good alternative to Adwords is to use second-tiered PPC programs. Among the best of these is 7Search as they have good traffic which converts quite well. The key to succeeding with 7Search is using very broad keywords. It costs just $25.00 to set up an account and with a minimum bid of just one penny, you can count on a lower cost per visit and more affordable overall costs than with higher profile programs such as Adwords.

Blogging

Another option is blogging. You can blog your way to the top as blogging is a highly effective method to use for achieving high search engine rankings. Use one of the free blogging platforms and then buy an inexpensive domain to park it at. WordPress is a top choice as it features plug-ins which automate many of the processes and which integrates pinging to drive traffic to your blog. The trick with blogging is to do it regularly and to choose your tags carefully. The content must be deemed useful and informational for readers. If you become lucky with your blog an owner of a high ranking website or blog will link to you, giving you a nice source of highly targeted traffic.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is another proven tool. Millions of internet users are using social bookmarking sites to store, organize and manage websites that interest them on public bookmarking sites instead of storing it on their computers. When you bookmark your sites with social bookmarking sites, you will automatically obtain access to potentially large numbers of people which visits sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit and Digg. Social bookmarking can be very time-consuming task. You have to create accounts at each site before manually submitting your page to them. This is good reason to use a service like Social Maximizer as the social bookmarking will be done for you. 100 submissions would cost you less than $20.

Directory Submission

Finally, do not overlook submitting your site to directories. Google, MSN and Yahoo put a high value on the number of incoming links which point to your site when deciding where your site will rank. directory submissionsSubmitting your website to directories is easy to do. However, you will have to have quite a bit of time available as you’ll need to find a good list of directories and then have the details about yours site submitted properly to each of them. For a low cost you can easily hire a directory submission service like Directory Maximizer which will do the work for you and in the most effective way. Expect to pay under $20 for having 100 submissions done.

Tightwads and misers can successfully market online without the need for huge budgets. The internet does offer some great low cost opportunities for the most frugal among us and it it also allows you the chance to market for free. By all means, take advantage of these low cost and free internet marketing options so that you can drive traffic to your website without busting your budget.

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September 16th, 2011 by admin