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A Review of Matt Cutts Keynote Speech at PubCon 2013

Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, has been in the headlines lately in regards to the latest Penguin 2.1 update. It was at Las Vegas' PubCon 2013 that Cutts brought us all up-to-date on Google's plans for further development.

There are some fresh changes and updates that Matt Cutts proudly unveiled. Among the most important were the use of Knowledge Graph, Voice Search, Conversational Search, Google Now and Deep Learning.

Google is developing its knowledge on not just what we search but how we search. For example, Deep Learning concentrates on the relationships between words and tackles conversational questions used when searching.

Matt Cutts also spoke about the core quality changes to Hummingbird, Panda Softening, Detecting Boosting Authorities and Smartphone Ranking. Hummingbird will develop to concentrate on the content of a search request whilst Panda Softening will continue to be developed to bring some sites and content back.

Detecting/Boosting Authorities will be of interest to webmasters as this will recognise sites that have deep and specialised knowledge in other words become authorities within their fields. One disappointing feature of Smartphone ranking is that it still doesn't have flash but no mention from Matt regarding if this would change in the future. Whilst there has been quite a bit of discussion on the web regarding the effects Penguin 2.1 have had for webmasters it does look as though there will be further updates to Penguin to come.Whilst the aren't functioning that greatly right now, Query Algorithms will be targeting porn and payday loans sites to achieve better results. 

Advertorials and Native Advertising also came under the spotlight with Google cracking down on those selling adverts that blend with content and 'dofollow' links. Whilst they may have their work cut out Google's monitoring of Spam Networks is progressing and they will be going through a list of spam networks listed that they will be investigating.

In the way that Google communicates with webmasters, Matt Cutts is pleased that Google continues to increase communication with helpful videos to show webmasters examples and methods to prevent malware and hacking and setting out best practice guidelines.

Google's main aim has always been to provide information for the globe and they will continue to give answers to specific queries. They are not going to ignore the growing mobile searchers either and encourage those that haven't already, to develop their websites for mobile users.

It certainly seems that Matt Cutts and the team at Google will continue to move things forward and with many developments on their way there should be a more content relevant search facility for all users.

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The Power of Content Marketing for Inbound Marketing

Content MarketingMany businesses today have started relying on content marketing to attract and engage target audiences. According to the Slide Share and Column Five Media reports, businesses are spending a quarter of their budgets on content marketing. And this is because of the kind of value that content marketing adds to your business.

For the obvious fact that many people rely on Internet to get information, businesses can benefit from content marketing by providing information related to their specific business.

Content marketing offers a spectrum of options. Content marketing offers many tools and avenues which help you market your business online. Some of the common ones are blogs, articles, press releases and white papers. You can choose the right kind of tool as per your purpose of marketing to build brand awareness or to generate traffic or leads or to drive sales. You can even use a mix of these formats, depending on how each format is able to meet your goal.

Content compliments your business. The main idea behind content marketing is to share knowledge particular to your business to help purchase decision-making. It also includes sharing expert ideas, opinions and information related to your business and industry. You can create two types of content for your business - content for website and landing pages (direct promotion), and informational content (indirect promotion).

Developing content for your website and landing pages

Creating content for your website is a kind of direct promotion, as your web pages need content that exclusively describes your organization, operations, products and services. The content for website includes business description, product/service description, meta tag descriptions, titles, snippets, etc. This will help your website create positive impression as well as to engage and persuade potential customers.

It also involves creating content for landing pages and ads (banner, pop-ups, text ads), with the business/industry specific keywords. Good content with adequate keywords is an essential aspect of website development and helps you maximize your visibility in search engines.

Developing content for creating awareness

By creating content on a range of topics related to your business, you are indirectly creating and spreading awareness on your products/services. This informational content for your business is generally used for your website's blog and resource center.

For instance, if your business deals with selling of a specific software and your content marketing strategy involves creating articles related to features of the software, check list for buying the software you provide, benefits of purchasing the software, statistics on the usefulness and purchase of your software, white papers on your software industry, etc. Any potential customer is attracted and impressed by the information given by you, will be definitely interested in doing business with you. Get creative and write blogs, articles, press releases, white papers related to your business to generate greater credibility.

The USP of content marketing is that it builds credibility of your business by gaining trust of your target audiences. This is because people rely mostly on industry experts' opinions, tips and suggestions for their information needs. According to Custom Content Council, 90% of the customers agree that custom content is useful and 73% of the people prefer collection of articles to know about the organization, rather than traditional advertisements.

Having said that, let us see how content tools help your business to build credibility.

Blogs and articles

Blogs and articles have content that gives all the functional and useful information about your products/services to your customer. You can even share your business experience in the form of opinions, ideas and suggestions through well-optimized blog posts and articles. If any of your targeted audience is in dilemma about the products/services you offer, blogs and articles will help him clear his doubts and understand your business well.

Press releases

Press releases contain promotional content about your business. You can share developments, achievements or any other news related to your business through press releases. Press releases make your customer know all the latest updates about your business and also build trust for your business.

White papers

White papers, the research reports based on thorough analysis made by business experts, have great value. Generally, customers rely on this kind of content to make crucial decisions regarding making purchases or adopting strategies.

Hence, creating content specific to your business and then marketing it will yield reliable and long-term customers.

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A Fail-Proof 9-Step Process for On-page SEO

SEO StrategyOn-page SEO is the process of optimizing particular sections of a page so that it tackles a specific topic. This makes it clear for search engines and it makes it easy for users of your website to get information that they are looking for.

When doing any form of SEO, particularly on-page SEO, it is important to balance the need of the users as well as the demands of the search engines. There are steps that you can follow to optimize each page on-page SEO for your website.

1. Review Pages of the Site

You need to review in order to update any outdated information. You should check the URLs, the description and description tags and Page titles to see if any of these need to be updated. Ideally page titles should be 70 characters while descriptions should not be more than 150 characters. Use keywords cleverly so that they fit in the description or titles as seamlessly as possible.

Reviewing will also help you to see the type of content that is on each page and the whole website. Ensure that content and words are not repeated, that keywords are not repetitively used but rather they are used in a sensible way to create helpful and useful information.

Review your current URLs, Page Titles and Descriptions to see if they need updating. This is part of the point of using a template like this, so you get a larger overview of the type of content you have on your website.

2. Establish the Purpose of Each Page

Another step to carrying out on-page SEO is to establish a value proposition. This means that each page should have a definition of what that page is hoping to achieve. Apart from high rankings, you should establish what the purpose of the page in the overall website is (for the user more than anything else.)

3. Define Your Target Audience

You should know you target audience as this will guide you when writing content and optimizing pages for SEO. If you have more than one target audience, ensure that the pages appeal to these multiple or different target audiences and the content should communicate. Expert SEO copywriters will thrive after learning about what the target audience is all about.

4. Write Concise Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

When writing a page title, it is important that you use the keyword contextually according to the content of the page. The page title (which should be under 70 characters in length) should explain the page in a glance as well as optimize that page. It's also one of the most important variables when establishing keyword relevancy for SEO.

The meta description should be a sentence with the keyword or keyword phrase that summarizes the content of that page. The meta descriptions (which should be under 155 characters in length) should not be repetitive of the title or page content.

5. Keep Focused on Keyword Targets

You should keep track of the keyword in each page. It is more effective to use a keyword per page so that it forms as the topic for that page. The benefit of this is that each page is optimized as it should, it remains relevant to the topic and you provide quality information.

6. Provide Good Content

Good content should be useful, add value to the target audience and it should be clear. It is also important that you arrange your content in an easy to read manner. Use sub-headings and bullet points where and when you can, as this makes it easier to read. This aspect is an integral part of the on-page SEO review process that you need to do for each page.

7. Integrate Visual Content

Visuals and graphics tend to have much more impact especially when it adds value to the content rather than distracting from it. Use visuals and graphics to enhance the communication of the content of the page.

Visual content, such as video and images, can also be keyword optimized for SEO. This can be found in the file's properties, and should be optimized prior to being uploaded to the site.

8. Use Links Logically & Pruposefully

Ensure that you have logically-placed links within your content. Links can be of other relevant pages of your website, or to your social media pages, for example. The organic SEO importance of this is it increases the possibility that your website will rank a top organic search. It also increases the overall click-through rates on your search results.

9. Optimize for Conversations

On-page SEO is meant to optimize the site overall so as to have more leads and traffic and then more conversions. You should have a call to action on each page where possible. It is important to carry out on-page SEO changes every so often so that your website is marketing your brand as it should.

Always make note of the changes and the conversion rates so that you keep track of what you are doing right and change what may not be working for you. This is particularly important when doing ecommerce SEO and conversion rate optimization.

For more insights on topics about on-page SEO and other aspects of SEO, explore various SEO articles here. The resource offered at Click Centric SEO share a wealth of information about ecommerce SEO and other niche aspects of optimization.

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Tips for Writing Engaging & Alluring Blog Post Titles

Alluring Blog Post TitlesYour blog is your story. It is a mark on this world that will imprint itself in the minds and hearts of many people across the globe. Your blog may also be your livelihood. In other words, it may be through your blog that you sell products online or participate in affiliate marketing thereby earning your daily bread.

You should therefore use every single opportunity to attract visitors to your blog. One of the most effective means of attracting people to your blog is through writing an engaging and alluring blog title.

Alluring blog titles can double (if not quadruple) the click-through rates on your blog posts. Here are a couple of tips on writing alluring blog post titles that grab your target readers attention.

Always Start with a Working Title

A "working title" is completely different from a topic title. This is because a working title is not only catchy but highly specific to take action. A topic title on the other hand is a general idea of the content in your blog posts.

For example, 'Internet Marketing Is Profitable' is a topic title. Your visitor will know that your blog post is talking about the profitability of internet marketing. This is a general idea of a very wide concept.

It is also unattractive to those who may not have enough time to read blog posts. However, 'How To Profit Off Internet Marketing,' is a working title. It delves deeper into the idea of internet marketing's profitability. This makes it attractive to potential visitors to your blog posts.

Always be as Accurate as Possible

Your blog titles and the respective blog posts to those titles should relate to each other. You should not overly exaggerate your blog titles only to have watered down blog posts. This is highly disappointing for your viewers.

Your viewers' expectations are set immediately they read your blog titles. They will not revisit any of your blog posts if you do not meet their expectations. For example, do not write a blog title that reads, 'Justin Bieber Releases a New Album' when you do not actually have the details of that new album. This is one of the key pillars of building a successful blog.

Spice-up Your Blog Titles as Much as Possible

People will flock to your blog posts if your blog titles are unique from other blog titles carrying the same information. You do not have to sacrifice accuracy to get people's attention. All you need to do is to play around with words. Your words should make good use of alliterations, strong language and clarity in value.

For instance, do not write a blog title as 'Leaders of the World Meet to Discuss Economic Downturn.' Instead, write 'Economic Downturn: World Leaders Meet to Discuss Options.' The second title is more direct and straight to the point.

Keep Your Blog Titles Short and Optimized for SEO

Remember, long blog titles are boring. No one will bother to click on blog posts that already seem too lengthy and unorganized. You need to keep blog titles simple, direct and interesting. You should also remember that search engines play a critical role in how many people actually read your blog posts.

You should therefore keep in mind all of the SEO keyword phrases in your blog posts and consider putting one or a few of them in the blog titles. This can increase your search engine rankings.

Optimizing your blogs title will help you optimize your blog posts for greater value, rankings, and exposure. This cohesive effort is what truly puts the icing on the cake for your overall blogging goals.

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How to Find Quality SEO Services Amidst The Global Marketplace

Find SEO ServicesOnce you have created a website for your business, you need to understand that you've only just began. There is more to websites after creating it – you will be required to make it rank higher within the search engines. Otherwise, it will be needless having a website because internet users (some of whom are your potential customers) won't be able to visit your site.

Now, there are a number of reasons as to why SEO services are important to any kind of business. For example, with quality SEO services you will be able to stay on of the search results top once you are highly ranked within search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. This will generate more traffic to your website, which will in turn generate leads and profits for your business.

The other reason to consider investing in SEO services is the chance to explore new things. This simply means that your business will be able to attract new breed of customers, most of whom you wouldn't have tapped without SEO services. For instance, if you own a shopping boutique and have ecommerce capabilities on your website (for online sales,) you could invest in ecommerce SEO services to get search exposure and new traffic to your site and generate online sales, beyond the traffic that walks through the door. Certain SEO companies, like Click Centric SEO and TOFU Marketing, offer services specific to ecommerce SEO and social media marketing.

So, as a business, how can you find quality SEO services amidst the global marketplace?

There are a number of factors to look for in SEO companies. Let's take a look at the 3 most important characteristics of such SEO companies.

Responsiveness

You should know that SEO isn't a one-time contract. No, it involves a lot of things (backlinking, on-page SEO, HTML optimization, off-page SEO, social media, and brand building) that have to be maintained and continuously monitored. Therefore, when looking for the best SEO services, the company should be very responsive. This is an extremely vital factor such that when something goes wrong (with the website) the company should readily be available.

Up to Date

One thing with SEO is the fact that it keeps on changing. That is, search engines such as Google keep on updating the way they rank websites. For instance, Google's latest update was in April 2013 where Google Penguin Update came with new changes. The right SEO company should be up to date with such kind of changes. Just a tip: as a customer, it is also advisable that you are well accustomed of such changes too. A great company will inform you appropriately!

Expertise and Skills

This is the most essential aspect of all when seeking SEO services, especially for ecommerce. Before picking the right SEO company, it is imperative that you choose a firm with the right expertise and skills. The company is supposed to have a team that possesses the right dexterity to handle all SEO requirements. Since SEO services involve quite a lot of things, the best SEO company needs to be All-rounded. That is, don't go for a company which is specialized only in a certain area and lags in other areas.

You should instead settle for a company that posses all kinds of SEO skills. For example, a company is required to Understand Technical SEO tactics like great content writing and good HTML Optimization for the best SEO-friendly website. As one of their tactics, the SEO company has to understand and respect the importance of social media and online branding.

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Tips for Writing Awesome PPC Landing Page Copy

In short, the primary purpose of landing pages is to attract users and increase conversions. In order to write successful landing pages, you have to test different styles, monitor specific metrics, and make changes accordingly. If you are managing a PPC campaign, it can be quite frustrating if you work hard to drive traffic to your website, but don't see any conversions. This is why writing (and testing) awesome landing pages is so important.

Before you start writing a landing page, you need to set some goals. You need to understand what you're trying to accomplish from your landing page. The next step is to test a wide rage of metrics and styles to see how each one performs. If you don't notice any positive changes, it's time to re-invent or modify your landing page. Here are some useful tips that can help you increase click-through-rate of your PPC campaign.

Remove Any Unnecessary Details

You should try to convey your message in a concise and simple way. There's absolutely no need to clutter up your landing page with unnecessary text or writing. When a new visitor lands on your page, he just wants to know what you're offering. Nobody wants too much information that seems overwhelming. Landing pages should be written and designed to get your message across in a very concise and simple manner. In order to increase your conversion PPC rates, you need to draw attention to what you're offering.

Make Headlines Stand Out

Most of the people click on something once they notice a catchy and interesting title. The headline or title is the selling point of your text. It draws a reader towards what's been written. Headline makes a visitor check out the entire page. A headline should be bold, unique, interesting and impactful. You need to consider it to be the first line of a book. It should be able to capture attention.

Write & Test Compelling Calls to Action

This is one of the most important aspects of writing landing pages. You should use a call-to-action to encourage people to signup and stay connected with your business. For instance, you can offer a discount or free trial period. It is very important to make it easier for people to connect with you. Therefore, your PPC landing pages should include a form or signup to motivate visitors to get in touch with you instantly.

Give Yourself Some Credit

One of the easiest ways to grab attention is to provide information about your accomplishments and success. You can mention some of the companies, clients, and/or individuals who have utilized your service satisfactorily. If there has been some news about your products or services, you should write about it on your PPC landing pages. You should let your audience know that you stand out from your competition.

Last but not the least, you need to be very patient while writing landing pages. All the changes you make and text you add will not increase your conversion rate instantly. You need to give them some time and regularly analyze and optimize important metrics relevant to your website. You should look for certain things which aren't working in your favor. It is important to understand that PPC campaigns are fruitful only when you're willing to keep making changes until you get something that works perfect for you.

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Expert SEO Insights on Google's New

Google HummingbirdLast month, Google launched a new search algorithm called as the "Hummingbird." The introduction of this new algorithm update marked the end of a 12-year hiatus wherein the updates of Panda and Penguin showed only minor changes in search results.

Hummingbird, however, is not only an update, but rather a completely new manner in which the search engine will now process a query. Furthermore, this new algorithm update will reshape how organic SEO experts and companies view thier SEO best practices.

What is New in Hummingbird?

With the previous algorithm, a Google search for some specific query or keyword generated results that were a literal translation of the typed words. Using this method, the Google search engine skimmed through billions of pages of data to bring out results most closely related to the keywords.

With the new algorithm, Google now attempts to understand the intent of the query typed to produce more specific results. The search engine is now focusing more on the individual intent rather than individual words or search terms. The algorithm, which is semantic based, pays more attention to every word in the query and tries to ensure that the whole meaning and intent of the conversation is taken into account. Thus, the results that are then obtained are better because the pages match with the meaning or intent of the query.

One of the major reasons why this new algorithm will work is because it is attempting to be in tandem with the way queries are now posted. People looking for information via a Google search through voice searches in mobile phones tend to ask more sophisticated and also complicated questions. Hummingbird is aimed to target such long and dense questions. In simple words, the focus is now more on answers to a question rather than just results.

Hummingbird's Influence on SEO's

As many organic SEO experts have noted, search marketers will be directly influenced with the new algorithm, although maybe not so immediately. With the focus now shifting on user intent, the typical organic SEO company or independent search marketing expert will now have to form content for user engagement (which is not based completely on keywords like the past.)

Now, SEO's best practices should focus more on:

  • Queries, needs and problems posed. Focus on delivering the answer and provide solutions.
  • To identify the intent of the user, engaging with them on social media platforms will provide valuable clues.
  • Understand the idea behind the new Google algorithm and align themselves with new process of handling queries and searches.

Google officials say that SEO experts need keep a few things top of mind, such as: high quality content that is original, shareable, linkable and engaging have nothing to worry about. The basic signals that were important in the past continue to retain their importance.

In short, based on the way Google will now handle queries and data, organic SEO experts will have to focus more on the intent and less on the keyword.

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