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How to Build an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Using content marketing to promote your business requires focused, targeted text. Your online promotional material can show your readers that you are an industry leader when it comes to knowing and understanding your subject material. There are steps you can take to make the most out of a marketing strategy to create an effective promotional campaign. If you focus on growing your audience, your content can pay for itself with new clients and broad readership reach that could go beyond a local market.

Content Marketing Strategy

Basic Content Marketing Strategy

 

Offer Readers Expert Information
 

Find what angle of your industry you can excel in when it comes to disseminating information. If you make exercise equipment, for example, you may want to offer the latest in exercise research or tips for a basic workout program with trainers as blog contributors. The more you can speak as a voice of authority on specific content, the more people may be attracted to your content and marketing. 

 

Use High-Quality Content
 

Incorrect or inadequate content on your site can leave readers feeling that your company is not professional. Hire or outsource writers that can convey your information in a well-written format. This not only will give you a lift in terms of quality content, but also will free you and your staff to focus on the overall content strategy and related assignments for the writers.

 

Collaborate with Your Writers
 

Keep the feedback channels open with your writing team. Make sure you look at the content that is representing your business. Offer words of encouragement and any suggestions if you want to take the entries in a different direction. Clear, concise directions to the writers can make a big difference in a marketing project’s outcome.
 

More Content Marketing Tips

 

Offer Training for the Writers
 

If you want to accomplish effective marketing, your writers need to understand the difference in writing for the Web vs. other types of writing. You may want to lead in-house training with plenty of examples for the writers to see and learn appropriate style. You may even want to put together your own style manual, particularly if there are industry references specific to your business that could boost the authoritative nature of your site’s articles.

 

Emphasizing SEO and Keyword vs. Content Distinctions
 

As part of the training, you may want to spend some time discussing your SEO strategy along with keyword vs. content details. You may have specific metrics that are part of your SEO formula, which can help give the writers guidelines. And, while a keyword strategy is important, you may want to stress the value of detailed, accurate content on your site as you work with your writing team.

Create a Content Marketing Plan

 

Use a Content Calendar
 

A content calendar can keep you and your writing staff on track for different promotions through the year that can tie in with blog pieces. You may have sales at specific times of the year or an annual event such as a new-product launch. The calendar can keep everyone’s schedule in line with yours so that the writers can meet any increase in workload.

 

Review Site Traffic Statistics
 

Knowing more about your audience can help your staff refine your marketing to maximize reaching as many people as possible. You may discover that certain times of the day are best for posting to your site for local audience reaction. You also may dig deeper to see what types of mobile devices your readers prefer to use. This can help you customize your site and readability depending on the most popular devices. Combine this knowledge with traffic statistics, and you may soon have a powerful combination of information to create an effective target-market plan.

 

Putting Your Plan in Motion
 

An effective content marketing strategy includes several key components. You will want to build a strong writing team, offer training on key elements along with goals for content, and arrange for a calendar to keep track of promotions. As your audience grows, you can review site traffic and obtain any readership metrics to help further refine your strategy as the content builds an audience. Your promotions can take a life of their own with a smart plan in place as a guiding force.

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September 4th, 2012 by admin

Keyword Rich Domains: Do They Still Matter?

Keyword rich domains

Keyword rich domain names have long been a source of debate in the SEO community. Just a few years ago, having the exact match keyword for a search term virtually guaranteed that you’d dominate the rankings. Keyword rich domains fetched incredibly high prices on the domain name market, because people knew they would easily translate into rankings and into money.

 

Then Google clamped down on keyword rich domains. Google (rightly) reasoned that just because someone was able to pick up the exact match domain for a search term did not necessarily mean that they were the best resource. Google devalued the way they looked at keyword rich domains and many of their rankings dropped.

 

Then more recently came the Panda and Penguin updates, both of which heavily clamped down on web spam. Because many of these keyword rich domains used spammy techniques or spammy content to get ranked, a huge number of them dropped right off the front page.

 

So do keyword rich domains still matter? Do they still give you an edge in the search engines, or have they completely lost their effectiveness? The answer is clear: They still matter. A lot.

 

Matt Cutts: “Diminished” But Still Carries Weight

 

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam has already made a public statement about these keyword rich domains. Cutts’ statement basically said that they’ve diminished the power that keyword rich domains have in search engine rankings, but that they still carry some weight.

 

This makes a lot of sense. A lot of legitimate brands use exact match domains. Punishing these brands, which are extremely useful resources, would be counter productive to Google’s mission of trying to bring the best search results.

 

Exact match domains will most likely always carry some extra weight. In Google’s eyes, it’s just slightly diminished.

 

But Wait! There’s More …

 

But that’s not all there is to the story.

 

When people talk about the advantage of exact match domains, they think first of the algorithm edge that the domain has. But that’s not its only advantage.

 

Exact match domains also tend to get higher click through rates. There are two reasons for this.

 

First, people associate exact match domains with trust. If you typed in “eliminate back pain” and saw “eliminatebackpain.com”, there’s a very good chance you’d click on it. It’s not because you recognize a brand, but because your brain automatically assumes the exact match domain is credible.

 

Second, the exact match domain will be bolded in its entirety when someone conducts a search. This makes the listing more eye catching and gets more clickthroughs.

 

Though nobody can tell exactly how much of Google’s ranking algorithm depends on CTR, there’s little debate that it does play a significant role. In other words, if you have an exact match domain, you’re going to get more clicks because of a high CTR. That high CTR can then lead you to higher rankings, which will generate more clicks for you still.

 

This is why the exact match domain and the keyword rich domain are never going to fully die down. Yes, there’s an algorithmic advantage – But there’s also a psychological advantage.

 

“But My Traffic Dropped After Panda / Penguin”

 

What if you were one of the many thousands of webmasters who saw their site drop off the front page after the Panda or Penguin update? Why did this happen to you and what can you do about it?

 

Most likely the reason your ranking dropped wasn’t because of your domain. Instead, you got dropped because you had too many unnatural links coming in or your website appeared to be using the main keyword too many times.

 

The latter is a common problem with exact match domains. Since your domain is the keyword, you’re going to end up saying your keyword a lot of times in your text. That could look unnatural to Google.

 

The answer to this problem is to re-do your linking strategy from scratch. Get more authentic, natural links and re-do the text on your site so it doesn’t look like you’re keyword stuffing. Then either wait for your rankings to improve, or submit a reconsideration request.

 

Keyword rich domains used to be the end all be all in SEO. Today, they’re not as powerful, but they still hold a lot of influence. The power of keyword rich domains has not gone away and likely never will.

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August 10th, 2012 by admin

Get The Pro’s Tips To Writing Good Content

Tips For Good ContentWith so much emphasis now being placed on good content and quality content by search engines, it’s become a catch phrase you see repeatedly across articles and blogs. “Be sure you write good content!  The key is quality content.”  Well, that’s all fine and dandy (and true, by the way), but just what is good content?  Is there some magical formula that automatically makes content have quality like there is with keyword density?

 

Unfortunately, not really.  Good content is just what it sounds like: the most beneficial, quality-driven material that there can possibly be; something that is extremely helpful to the reader and not filled in any way, shape or form with fluff.  So, if there’s no formula, how do you go about writing quality content?  That’s pretty simple and luckily, you’re in right smack in the middle of a quality content article that is going to show you!

 

What Is Good Content?

 

Put quite simply, quality content is a few things all at once, and can be achieved by something I like to call “dipping your pen into the ‘Wells’ of good content”:

 

  • Well-organized and researched material that is displayed in a concise, easy-to-read manner
  • Well-written content that is both engaging and free of spelling and/or grammatical errors
  • Well-documented material that doesn’t make any outstanding or bogus claims without verifying their sources
  • Well-intentioned content, meaning it is aimed at helping the reader find out information they are seeking, not selling them a product.

 

As you can see, there actually is a type of formula you can follow, but it is much more like the formula for writing a good research paper than the formula for making rocket fuel: while just as complex, it isn’t as static. 

 

Quality content means that you have to write individually unique articles, blogs, posts or whatever it is you’re looking to write.  The goal is the same: you want your writing to be found by search engines so it can funnel traffic onto your site.

 

So, how can we make sure that we have quality content? 

 

Tips to Writing Quality Content on Your Website

 

Regardless of what form or medium you are writing for, the keys to writing good content are the same.  Follow these tips and double check them against your ‘Well’ of good content above and you are guaranteed to go right each and every time:

 

  • Be Original: A lot of content writers think its okay to just Google their keywords and rewrite the top articles.  While this may give you a form of good content, it won’t be quality content for a few reasons.  First, the wording will be awkward as you attempt to mix up sentences to avoid plagiarism.  Second, the content won’t be original meaning the Google algorithms will rank your page lower for adding nothing to the table.
  • Do Your Research:  As paradoxical as it is to have this right under the previous tip, it is true that you need to do your research, especially if you don’t know a lot about your topic.  A good method of getting the perfect mix of research and originality into your content is to write up everything you know about the subject, then go and find facts to back up your content.  Chances are you’ll find new information in the process.  When you integrate the two in your website, originality and outside perspective, you’ll find quality content is an automatic.
  • Don’t Hard Sell:  People are bombarded everyday with sales pitches; they don’t need it when they are looking for information online.  Write your content and then at the very end, place a call-to-action.  If you have quality content, the reader will be sure to click on whatever it is you want them to click on.
  • Use LSI Keywords:  Not only is this a great way to get ranked higher, but it also makes your article more interesting if you don’t keep repeating the same words over and over again.

 

More on Quality Content

 

Hopefully, you’re beginning to see exactly what constitutes good content.  You’ll be amazed with how much more traffic you pull into your site with just these few simple tips.

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August 1st, 2012 by admin

Google’s New Crusade Against Overly Optimized Websites

Google’s mission has always been to archive the internet and provide the highest quality results on their search pages. One thing that’s gotten in their way in the past is the SEO profession.

 

A lot of people who study the art of SEO are able to get their pages to the top of Google, even if their site isn’t actually the best site for that search phrase. Better content gets lost because of SEO, rather than because of content.

 

Google is aiming to change all of that. In the near future, they’ll be bringing out an algorithm change that’s designed to penalize websites that have “too much SEO.”

 

What exact does that mean? How can you avoid getting penalized?

 

In short, your site should appear as natural as possible – As if your site was just on the web to put out content. More specifically, here are some of the things you should pay attention to.

 

Don’t: Cause All Your Backlinks

 

If you’re the only person who’s causing backlinks to your site, you can bet Google can tell. If you’re doing things like blog commenting, profile submissions, Web 2.0 links and so on, Google knows those are all links that you can personally cause. It looks unnatural.

 

Don’t: Overly Optimize Anchor Text

 

The anchor text from links linking to you should look natural. That means some links will say things like “I love this site” or “click here to learn more” rather than having your keyword.

 

One big mistake a lot of marketers make is paying other people to link to them with specific anchor texts. This can actually hurt you. Let people link to you with whatever anchors they want. You should only have specific keyword anchors 20% to 30% of the time.

 

Don’t: Pay Attention to Keyword Density

 

If you go out of your way to use specific words a specific number of times in your text, you’re probably doing something wrong. Having a “6% keyword density” is not going to help you rank.

 

In fact, what it’ll really do is make your content sound weird while potentially hurting your rankings. Write your content for real people. That’s what Google wants. Keyword density hasn’t mattered for years now.

 

Don’t: Use Complex Linking Schemes

 

Are you using link wheels, link magnets, private link networks or other similar complex linking strategies?

 

The problem with many of these strategies is that they look similar and leave footprints. Google literally has a team of several hundred PhD’s with astronomical IQs creating algorithms to combat these kinds of link strategies.

 

If you’re thinking of using a complex link strategy, you’re probably better off just leaving it at the door. Especially with Google’s new anti-SEO slant.

 

Don’t: Use Too Much Aggregate Content

 

Are you using content scrapers like Caffeinated Content or scraping RSS feeds and using that as a source of content on your website? If so, you could probably kiss your rankings goodbye.

 

Google doesn’t want to rank websites that just re-wash other people’s content and post it up as their own. They want fresh, original content. Even if you can do SEO better than the original content creators, chances are you’re going to get penalized for it.

 

Don’t: Cloak or Keyword Stuff

 

If you’re using techniques like cloaking (showing search engines one page and people another page) or techniques like keyword stuffing, you can pretty much expect to get penalized.

 

Again, the rule of thumb is real high quality content. Anything that you do to deliberately try and fool the search engines is more likely than not going to backfire.

 

Don’t: Write Similar Content for Similar Keywords

 

A lot of people who create websites for search engines try to create a separate exact match title page for every keyword they’re targeting. For example, you might have these two keywords as two different pages:

 

How to Fix an Engine
Engine Fixing Tips

 

When in reality, both pages really contain the same content.

 

Don’t do this. Combine both pages and have one high quality page, rather than try to get an exact match title for every page you’re targeting.

 

These are some of the things that Google is looking out for in websites that are “too optimized.”

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July 18th, 2012 by admin

4 Powerful Tips for Using Social Listening for SEO

Social Listening For SEOSocial listening is the art and practice of regularly paying attention to social media. Using social listening, you can learn a lot about your audience, influence discussions and improve your search engine rankings.

 

Here are four ways you can use social listening to enhance SEO.

 

#1 – Learn the Slang

On websites, people tend to write in a very proper and formal tone while on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites however, people tend to just write the first thing that comes to their heads. Learning the Slang

One great thing about the spontaneous nature of their messages is that people tend to use casual language rather than carefully considered language. That can really help you pick up slang that you can use in your own messages and your own copy. You can also incorporate this slang to help you pick up longtail search traffic.

For example, in the marketing industry, marketers call email submits “subs.” On websites, most authors will just call them “email submits.” However, on Twitter and Facebook you’ll find people using “subs” more than “email submits,” as it’s shorter and more catchy.

 

#2 – Observe and Predict Trends

Predecting TrendsTwitter and Facebook are great ways to predict a trend. If you notice that all of a sudden people are talking about one subject, you can jump on that bandwagon early.

It takes time for webmasters, websites and even bloggers to catch up. However, social media websites like Twitter and Facebook are more or less instantaneous.

This moment a coherent thought is formed within a community, it’ll be visible on Twitter and Facebook. People will make offhand comments, people will share resources and the idea will take off like wildfire.

Pretty soon, hundreds of web pages will pop up talking about whatever topic is hot right now. However, if you can get in on the game early by noticing it first through social media, you’ll have a big leg up. Get there early and you can become a major player in the conversation.

 

#3 – Use it to Inform Keyword Research Keyword Research

Social media can inform your keyword research. A lot of people tend to treat social and search as two completely different marketing mediums. In reality, they have a lot of overlap.

Use social media to inform your search marketing keywords. Look on Twitter for new trends, new products, new ideas, new competitors and check out how the search volume is going.

Google Trends can give you a good idea of whether a search term is going up or down. The Google Keyword Tool can give you a good idea of how much traffic the term gets today, though it isn’t useful for predicting future traffic.

If you only use traditional tools to do keyword research, you’ll always be playing catch-up. You’ll only be optimizing for terms that others have already beat you to. When you use social media as well however, you can get ahead of the curve and be one of the early players.

 

#4 – Optimize for Blended Search

There’s a lot of traffic to be had in blended search. Blended search refers to Google’s practice of placing videos, images and local results within the search results itself.

Trying to rank on Google for a main keyword term can be very tough. It could take months, even years of work.

However, if nobody is targeting the blended search results, you can often skip all that work and jump all the way to the top.

Pay as much attention to optimizing your videos, your local results and your images as you do to your website. Make sure you have the right keywords, make sure you have a great title, a great description and get backlinks to your videos and other media.

These are four ways social listening can help improve your SEO.

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April 12th, 2012 by admin

Have You Planned What Happens to Your Site When You Die?

Your websiteOne seldom discussed aspect of running a successful blog is what happens to your blog if you pass away. Everyone passes away at some point. It could be today, it could be next year or it could be 20 years from now. You never know when it’ll happen. That’s why it makes sense to plan for it today.

Your blog is an asset, just like any other asset. If you had a stock portfolio or a couple pieces of cash producing real estate, you’d probably put some attention into making sure what happens to those investments after you pass away, right? If you have people you care about, that’s the only way you can ensure that the work you did when you were alive will still care for them after you pass. A blog is no different.

Will Your Blog Continue to Run?

One of the biggest questions to ask is: Will your blog continue to run even after you pass?

Generally, this only works if you have a blog that’s rather independent of you. In other words, it can’t be “Joe’s Personal Blog.” However, if you have a blog that’s run by multiple authors and is run more like a business and less like a personal website, then there’s a good chance you can keep it running.

As long as the blog produces enough revenue to keep paying writers, the blog can keep running even when you aren’t there. All it needs is an operator who understands the intricacies of the business.

This operator could be your business partner. It could be a manager you hired, or a senior employee that can be promoted to managerial status after you pass. It could also be an heir or family member who knew the business well.

The Liquidation Option Liquidation

Another option is to sell the website. If you have a blog that’s earning $5,000 a month, $60,000 a year, your heirs might be able to fetch as much as $120,000 to $200,000 for it. A lot of people don’t think of blogs as assets. In reality, that’s exactly what they are.

Selling a blog should be handled by someone who knows what they’re doing. First, you need to find a buyer. A buyer could be another website owner, it could be a larger corporation, it could be a competitor or it could be an investor. You need to handle the transaction using an escrow service that guarantees safety for both sides.

It’s slightly less complex than buying or selling a brick and mortar business, but not by much.

How to Direct the Switch

What you want to happen with your blog should absolutely be written in your will. Otherwise, how will people know?

The agreements about what should happen if you die should also be written into the operating agreement of your corporation, if you have partners. This is a separate discussion from who gets your shares in the company. Essentially, your business partners should know what rights and responsibilities they have if you pass away.

Use a service called “Dead Man’s Switch” online to help manage the transitions of sensitive passwords. This service allows you to store passwords and other valuable information and only give it to people upon passing away. It knows you’ve passed away if you stop replying to emails.

 

Dead Man's Switch

 

Will Your Blog’s Value Plummet When You Die?

Blog Value DownOne big concern of passing a blog to heirs is that the blog’s value will drastically decline upon your passing. This is one of the big disadvantages of running your blog as a personal site.

If you’re worried about passing away without leaving anything to your family, now’s the time to start thinking about automation and about turning your blog into more of a real business.

Start hiring other writers. Start inviting guest authors. Disconnect the blog from your name. While this can be painful at first, it’s necessary if you want to create a real asset. Best of all, often time’s this shift will actually increase your revenues while giving you more time to live and enjoy your life.

What do you want to happen to your blog when you pass away? Should it keep running, or should it be sold? Who has authority – Your former partners or your family members? Discuss and plan for all of these questions today.

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April 2nd, 2012 by admin

Every SEO-Optimized Page Needs These 10 Elements

Search engine optimization can be a big juggling act. There are many things you need to keep in mind. Drop just one ball and your rankings could tumble – Or never appear in the first place.

These are ten of the most important elements to a well optimized page. Get these ten things right and your chances of ranking well are exponentially higher.

Title Tag

Your title tag is the most important tag on your entire website. Google uses it to determine your primary keywords. It’s also the “headline” in your listing in Google, which users use to determine whether or not to click.

Have an attention catching title tag that also contains your main keyword. Make sure you optimize the title tag so that it is different on each page.

Header Tags

Your H1 and H2 tags carry more weight in Google’s eyes than any other text on the page. Make sure your keyword is in your H1 tags and that related keywords or LSI words are sprinkled throughout the H2 tags on your site.

The Page URL

Your page’s URL should have your main keywords in it. It should also be short and should tell people something about the page. For example, “/posted=39048” is not a good URL. On the other hand, “how-to-build-quality-backlinks” is.

Description Tag

Your description tag contains the text that appears below the title tag in your search engine listing. Again, people use this information to decide whether or not to click on your site. This tag won’t actually improve your rankings, but can help improve the number of people who click on your site once they see your listing in the search engines.

Facebook and Twitter

Social media metrics are playing an increasingly large role in SEO. Google takes many factors into consideration. They consider how many fans you have on your page. They consider who shares your content, as well as the authority of the people sharing your content. A share from Bill Gates is weighed much more heavily than the average person.

They can also “read” the content of social media posts about you. If people are complaining about your product rather than praising it, search engines can read that to a certain degree.

If you don’t already have Facebook and Twitter setup, now is the time to do it. It’s not just for social media traffic, it’s also for SEO.

Highly Targeted Web Content 

The quality of your website’s content is becoming a larger and larger factor. While Google bots still can’t “read” a website and independently determine the page’s quality as a human could, they do come close.

The Google Panda update utilizes artificial intelligence as well as hundreds of different metrics, including ads to content ratio, overall design, many linguistic patterns and so on to determine the quality level of your site and content.

Nobody knows what all these metrics are. Instead of trying to game the system, it’s best to focus on providing high quality content that people want to link to.

Multi-Media

Google loves multi-media. If you’re not using images, videos and audio in your website, you’re probably missing out on a large amount of ranking power.

User Generated Content

Having a lot of content generated by your users is one easy way to take the pressure to create content off your shoulders, while giving Google all the more reason to place you higher in the search engines.

If you have a blog, try to cultivate active discussion. If you have a normal website, try to make one section of your site a wiki. If you have a high traffic website, try creating a forum. Try to create as much crawlable user generated content as possible.

Embedded RSS Feeds & News Content

Google loves to see websites that are updated regularly. One easy way to add a constant cycle to your website is to embed an RSS feed.

Keep in mind that this RSS feed should consist of only a small portion of your website. Google doesn’t like sites that use “automated content,” meaning using only feeds to fill a site. Instead, Google likes high quality content sites that supplement their content with feeds from other people’s content.

Diverse Internal Linking Structure

Try to have an internal linking structure that makes it easy for users to navigate from relevant page to relevant page. By linking to relevant pieces of content, you also make it easier for Google to do its job.

There are two main schools of thought in internal linking: Silo structure or flat structure.

A silo structure means separating your site into different keyword categories and interlinking sites only within those categories. This keeps the link juice separated, almost like mini-sites in your website.

The flat structure setup means linking to relevant content across your entire website.

There isn’t a set consensus on which method is better. The key is simply to make sure that you are linking to other relevant pieces of content across your website.

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March 15th, 2012 by admin

The Secret to Blogging Success: Marry Content with Promotion

 

Just writing your blog posts is not enough. It’s a common saying among journalists and bloggers alike that Content is King.” While this is true, just having great content isn’t enough. You also need great marketing to get that content in front of customers.

 

 

At a certain point, the quality of your content matters more than your marketing. However, in order to get to that point, you need to first have a very solid reader base. A solid enough reader base that a truly spectacular piece of content can go viral.

In order to do that, you need thousands of readers. To get that kind of following, you need to promote your blog posts.

Here’s how to do it.

 

Promote Each of Your Posts Individually

One big mistake marketers often make is promoting just the home page of a blog, rather than promoting their sub-pages. What they fail to realize is that Google ranks web pages rather than web sites.

If you want your pages to rank in Google, you need to work on getting each and every one of those pages to rank, rather than your website as a whole.

 

Develop a Per-Post Marketing Strategy 

Try to come up with a marketing strategy that you can execute every time you make a new post.

For example, let’s say you have a posting schedule of 2 posts a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday.

In addition to writing and posting the content, add promoting the content to your schedule. You should have an exact sequence of promotion tactics you follow through on each and every time you post a new piece of content.

 

Ways of Promoting Blog Posts

Once you’ve written a piece of high quality content, how can you promote it? There are several ways.

One of the easiest ways is to use article marketing. Article marketing involves posting articles on other sites like Squidoo, HubPages or EzineArticles and having a link in the article pointing back to your site. If you publish a few articles with backlinks to your content every time you publish a blog post, you’ll soon have hundreds of links coming into your site.

Another way of promoting your blog posts is to use fairly established systems of back linking, such as directory submissions or social media profile links. You can often get some pretty decent PR links back to your site using these methods.

You can also pay to get backlinks to your site. This is viewed with a little bit of apprehension by some bloggers as Google frowns upon the practice; but it can also be a very fast and easy way to get backlinks.

You can use social media and social bookmarking to get backlinks. Posting your new content on StumbleUpon, Reddit or Digg can be a great way to get new audience participation. If you have a small following already, you can just post the new content to your Facebook and/or Twitter to get people to link to you.

You can write a guest post that links to your new article. Contact other bloggers and see if they’d be interested in having you write a piece of content in exchange for a link.

Also, you might want to consider commenting on other blogs where they have posted similar content to your topic. Such comments on popular blogs can lead to a substantial amount of traffic, if done well.

These are all different ways you can promote your blog post. The most important thing isn’t necessarily how your promote your content, but that you have a solid and consistent plan to do it.

It’s true that it’s important to have high quality content. However, in addition to quality content, you need a quality marketing plan. Create the plan first, then you can focus on writing top notch content.

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February 6th, 2012 by admin

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

Hiring a Link Builder? Here’s How to Train Them

Teaching someone to build links can be quite challenging. Not only do they need to learn a lot of technical skills, but they also have to have the tenacity to follow through with potential leads. They need to also be able to convince people to build the actual link.

If you’ve been working in the internet industry for some time, it can be easy to underestimate how much specialized knowledge you actually have. Before teaching someone how to build links, you’ll often have to go over a lot of things that you consider basic.

All that said, here’s how to take a brand new link builder and turn them into a pro.

Basic Training

The first step to teaching someone link building is to teach them the fundamentals.

What is a high quality link? What is PageRank? What is anchor text? What is the difference between an in-body link and a footer link, the difference between a no follow link and a do follow link?

The best way to teach them the basics of link building is to expose them to concepts gradually. Don’t just dump a 200 page eBook on them or send them to read 50 articles. Instead, teach them one concept a day or have them read one article a day while they’re learning the rest of what they need to know.

Software and Procedure

Next teach them about all the software they’ll need to know how to use, the basic procedure and linkbuilding techniques that you plan on employing.

Have them watch you do it several times before asking them to do it for themselves. A few of the most important things to cover include:

  • Data gathering tools. Tools to check PageRank, tools to check traffic, tools to check nofollow status of backlinks and so forth. Make sure they know how to use the tools and have the tools installed on their own computers.
  • Status of current projects. What kind of links are you targeting right now? What are the bottlenecks and what are the next steps? What was the mentality or philosophy that went into cultivating these links?
  • Linkbuilding tools. Make sure they know how to use any tools necessary in the actual link building process. The exact tools depend on your methodology, but can include social media submitters, backlink checkers, content spinners, etc.
  • How to find and make contact with websites. Walk them through the process and make sure they understand what it’s like before trying it themselves.

Teaching Them the Sales Sequence

The first 30 days on the job will usually give you enough information about the candidate that you’ll be able to tell whether or not they’ll succeed in the long run.

Though technical skills can be taught to a lot of people, the most important skill when it comes to linkbuilding is sales. The ultimate question is: Can this trainee convince other people to link to your website?

Within about 30 days, you should be able to find out.

Teaching your candidate the sales sequence depends should be part theory part practice. In the beginning, you’ll want to hold their hand through the process. Once they know what the process looks like, you’ve got to let them go to see whether they sink or swim.

The most important aspects to cover in the sales sequence include: 1) Finding potential sites to get links from, 2) Researching those sites, 3) Making the initial contact and 4) Closing the deal.

 

 

Throughout the whole process your trainee needs to be keeping great notes. If they hit a block in the road, it might make sense to have another team member take over the correspondence. If that happens, they need to know exactly how to pick up where the first person left off.

 

Do several links together in the beginning to make sure they understand everything from front to back. Then give them a few assignments and have them report back. Finally, once they’re up and running, create a set of metrics that you want to track and let them do their job, using you as a resource if they have any questions.

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December 26th, 2011 by admin