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Tips & Strategies to Become a Better, More Authoritative Guest Blogger

It is not easy to get approval (let alone a response) to post your articles on authoritative blogs. Guest blogging has become a powerful endeavor to broaden one's content exposure, all while aiding their SEO strategy.

If guest blogging is becoming a challenge for you, below are some five tips to help you out.

Offer Samples of Your Published Work

It is always good to start posting in lesser known blogs because you get to build your portfolio. A time will come when you want to post in these authoritative blogs which will ask for samples of your writing which you have posted in other blogs.

These samples of your content writing are meant to show the authoritative blogger that you understand the importance of SEO, visibility and you have at least been published on the web. Whenever you request to become a guest contributor, make sure you include a link to some of the work you published before. Choose sample content that was well written and organized.

Attract the Editor’s Attention by Focusing on Your Article on Niche Topics of Interest

Your article topic will make your post stand out from the many others that the editor is receiving on a daily basis. So long as this person sees a great idea in your article, it is likely to be posted on their authoritative blog. Place a lot of emphasis on your article topic and include content that is trending.

Reach Out & Establish Connections With the Right People

In business, sound connections can take your brand places. An authoritative blog wants to find out if you have established connections with well-known people within your industry. You can even mention these connections when posting your blog. This will give the editor a perception that you are a well established brand within your industry.

Be Persistent & Follow-up on Inquiries

Being ignored by authoritative blogs is common and this shouldn’t be the reason for you to give up. You do not need to nag all the same. You can just send a single follow up email probably a week later and wait for a response. It could be that the editor has so many emails at that point and they didn't get a chance to read your own. Send a pitch every few months if you want to enhance your chances of getting a positive response.

Research Properly and Follow Any Directions Given by Blog Hostsblogging

You need to research thoroughly so that you can understand the kind of content that is usually offered on this blog and the directions that the blog usually takes. If there is a guest post page then click on it and follow the directions given if you want to get an email response.

Make sure that your content is very easy to read and follow through. You could be posting very relevant information but if it is not well presented then an editor of a high end blog will simply ignore it. Make use of bullet points and headings to enhance readability. What you say is crucial but the way you say it is even more important.

Guest blogging offers a number of benefits to enhance your web presence. Follow these tips above and start realizing greater success from your efforts.

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Link Building and Relevancy – Yeah, it Matters

Link Building and Relevancy Before Google unleashed its contrasting zoo animals upon the SEO world in order to combat spam and promote more natural search engine result page (SERP) rankings, link builders had an easy job of it. Link builders could simply buy hundreds of links, participate in link farms, get easy posting with spun content on article directories, and use a host of other spammy techniques in order to jump to the top of page one. While there are still plenty of black hat SEO and link building techniques out there, they are becoming harder to pull off and the likelihood that Google Panda will eat your site is becoming more likely by the minute. In order to avoid penalties and keep sites ranking well, we link builders have had to shift our focus to strategies that are long term focused that still deliver results. A major part of this strategy is focusing on building links on relevant sites to the target page, and here is why.

Google is Au Naturel

Or at least it wants to be. Google strives to provide a great user experience to searchers, and this means providing search results that are accurate and relevant to the queries and keywords being searched for. That being said, SEOs and link builders who have a direct influence on the SERPs skew this “natural” experience. It used to be common to see a site with thousands of spammy backlinks shoot to the top of the SERPs. The backlinks came from every dark corner of the web and it was obvious that the only purpose for these links was to influence Google’s algorithm. Well the algorithm is getting better at seeing this kind of behavior and sites that use these tactics now get penalized quickly. This has led to a trend where lower numbers (dozens rather than hundreds to thousand) of highly relevant backlinks are influencing a page’s SERP rankings much more than ever before.

The Reasoning?

It makes sense. Bloggers and websites within a certain niche are going to naturally link to one another because that is where the most relevant information pertaining to their audience is going to be found. What a lot of us SEOs tend to forget is that people link to people; websites do not link to websites. And Google is trying to put the power back into the people’s hands. This can be seen with more Google Plus posts showing up in the SERPs and Google Authorship becoming a major player in the blogging and SEO world. Getting a steady handful of high quality links (such as a guest post from an authority site in your niche) can have tremendous long term results because it is the natural way linking works.

Co-Occurrence Could Throw a Wrench Into Everything

Of course, when link building, we still focus primarily on keyword rich anchor text. Now fitting these naturally into a sentence is still important, but some interesting studies have shown that Google may be preparing to move away from anchor text all together. This would be a huge shock to the SEO system because link building has been associated with anchor text ever since links were always “click here.” Rand Fishkin explains here how sites have been seen ranking for competitive search terms even though they have no keywords on the page, and have never built anchor text rich backlinks to the page that is ranking. They are ranking solely due to high authority sites mentioning them in plain text. If this became common place, we’d have to throw all of our playbooks out and start from scratch.

Staying within your sites niche when you build links has never been more important. Not only does it make sense and can drive high quality direct traffic, but going and targeting links on irrelevant sites (yes, even if they have a high PageRank) could be detrimental to your long term ranking success if you make a habit of it. Targeting niche specific sites not only makes your actions look natural to Google, but you’ll also build your trust within your niche which means more expansion and trust.

Thomas McMahon is a writer and white hat link building practitioner which is a title he just made up. He works for Page One Power who offers link building training to those who need it.

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Six Online Tools to Help Improve Customer Website Engagement

Customers who are loyal to a specific brand are loyal for a reason. They know that the product they are using works and will not let them down. On top of this, they know that the company that the product comes from is going to listen to their suggestions and even their complaints.

When it comes to online marketing, one of the best things that you can do is make sure that you are able to engage your customers. This is why there are a number of tools out there on the Internet that will allow you to do this with relative ease.

Web EngageWebEngage

WebEngage is great tool offers you a number of opportunities to allow customers to voice their views. You can set up surveys and then, using this application, gather up the different suggestions that the customers offer you.

Fan PlayrFanPlayr

With FanPlayr, you can create what are known as ‘gamified coupons’. These will help you to add campaigns to your website in order to see what the customer response is.
 

Needle

NeedleWith Needle, companies will be able to communicate with customers. In order to make this communication all the more effective, you will be able to use Needle to direct customers to those who are experts in a specific field. This will give your customers a better answer and one that answers their questions.

User VoiceUserVoice

With UserVoice, you will be able to let customers air any complaints that they have. It does this by harnessing the ideas that customers give you. You will then be able to enjoy a much wider range of ideas and suggestions from your customers. They in turn will be able to suggest new things to your company, and help you on your way to improving both your website and your brand, tailoring it to their needs.

Live Programs

Offering ‘live help’ programs is a good idea, and there are a number of different ones available on the Internet that you will be able to incorporate into your website. Doing this will ensure that you get the best response from your customers.

Testimonial Pages

Offering a testimonial page will ensure that customers get to voice their opinions. They will be able to offer new suggestions for your company. This will also help to improve your reputation if you manage to get a number of positive reviews.

Engaging with customers is important and these are just a number of ways of doing it.

This post was curated by Brandchats, who offer an excellent Social Media Monitoring Software.

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5 Common SEO Mishaps and How to Avoid Them

SEO MishapsAfter the release of Google's petting zoo of penguins and pandas, SEO experts have cautioned business owners and marketing managers that SEO is as simple as it used to be.

Whether you have resources or a great team around you, it is not automatic that you will achieve fabulous results. The truth of the matter is that SEO has greater challenges than those that a small company encounters, which dislodges many SEOs. Because of this, many people, even self-proclaimed 'experts,' make SEO mistakes.

However, you can avoid these mistakes if you understand what's happen in search and how to adapt to these changes. Here are five common SEO mistakes and ways to avoid them:

1. SEO Obliviousness – So many organizations believe that numbers are the greatest factor. Every department has its unique goals related to data and because of this SEO may not take the priority, as most departments work to meet their own data related goals. To avoid this, you should frequently send out videos and articles that explain SEO and its significance. You can also liaise with your CEO and organize a seminar addressing the importance of SEO department.

2. Poor teamwork - SEO should collaborate with several departments including helping the marketing department with optimization, helping the IT department with coding, or assisting the PR department with visibility and outreach. This could be a difficult aspect, as many departments focus on their own tasks with little room for collaboration. To deal with this, you should try to develop relationships with other departments and third party SEO companies. It will be easy to work with them when a need arises later on.

3. Content responsiveness - Great content is what drives top quality SEO services. Big enterprises take a long time to adapt to the latest trends in content creation. This may pose problems for SEOs that try to attract new bloggers or those that attempt to remain relevant to the recent industrial news. To avoid this, consider letting your in-house writers do more of editing and emailing than writing. It is essential to let the copywriters create a few stories in breaking news than allowing them to work under pressure for general projects.

4. Data addiction - Large companies like focusing on numbers and making decisions based on those numbers. Different layers in a company can easily suppress creativity yet at times, it is the creativity that motivates SEO. To avoid this SEO mistake, let your department set up goals not driven by data. As you lead by experience, you will help the other departments to appreciate that user experience and the real users are what really matter and data cannot show this.

5. Impatience - The above four points build up to a single conclusion - impatience. Most people seem busy and engrossed in their own goals such that they may grow impatient in waiting for results or coming up with a supplementary strategy. However, SEO requires patience if you want results. While this among the toughest problems to address, it goes back to frequent communication and education. As people continue learning more about the best practices of SEO and its significance, they will continue to realize the essential role that patience plays in the world of SEO.

Interested in perfecting your SEO practice, or your website's level of optimization, visit Click Centric SEO for a free audit of your website.

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5 Quick Tips to Leverage Google+ for SEO Authority

Google+ for SEOBy now you should realize the power that Google+ has in establishing greater search authority for SEO. If you haven't realized the SEO potential of Google+, then check out this insightful blog post.

The purpose of this post is to show you five foundational ways in which you can leverage Google+ for greater SEO authority. So let’s dive right in:

  • Create the proper Google+ page for your business (local business or brand,) and populate the page with informative, accurate content. Also ensure that your profile image and banner are well-branded to your business.
  • Join communities on Google+ that are relevant to your business. Engage with community members and be active by sharing good content (particularly strong content that your team creates.)
  • Conduct some out-reach and encircle key influencers (people who are authority figures in your niche or industry.) Also encircle related businesses and brands so you can see and spread the good content that they post.
  • Make frequent Google+ post of quality, relevant content that educates, informs, or inspires your Google+ audience.
  • Promote your business's Google+ page on various web properties, particularly your website and other social media platforms.

Want more about insights about Google+ optimization? Visit the Web Presence Group for a free strategy assessment.

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Top 9 Mobile SEO Apps for iOS and Android

Mobile SEO Apps With the number of mobile users always increasing, it's important to ensure a website is properly optimized for mobile devices.

In this blog post, we highlight nine mobile SEO apps which are divided into two categories: iphone (iOS) mobile SEO apps and android mobile SEO apps. These apps can help you with the mobile optimization of your website.

iOS Mobile SEO Apps

Raven tools

This is one of the most popular mobile SEO apps and it is commonly used for Apple products. It is very advanced and detailed which is why it is quite popular. This application can be obtained by paying for an account with the Raven or downloading the free version. The free version has limited features but you can still be able to enjoy analytics to measure your ROI and track your performance on social media.

iSEO

This mobile app is perfect for people who want to know how other web pages are ranking across the web. The Apple app which costs $1.99 will help you to analyze the competition and different web pages so that you can maximize on guest blogging opportunities. The good thing about this app is that it gives results in a very SEO-friendly mobile design. You can send all these results to your colleagues through email.

Ego

The application only costs $1.99 and it can be used to collect data from different sources. However, if you currently use different services for data collection then this could be a wise investment to make.

LinkJuice

This Apple app also costs $1.99 but is a bit more complex than most of the ones mentioned. It is highly recommended for people who have prior knowledge in SEO because of this complexity. The good thing about it is that it has lots of information about specific webpages. You can get information regarding the backlinks, authority and anchor texts of different webpages by just typing in their URLs.

SEO Automatic

The most unique thing about this mobile App is that, other than offering information regarding your site, it also gives you recommendations on what needs to be done using the info you just gathered. It is a great product for business or firm owners who have little or no experience in SEO apps.

Android SEO Apps

SECockpit

This mobile app can really help you in keyword research. If you type in a phrase or word, the application will give you a list of search results and the competing keywords or phrases.

SEO SiteRank and SiteRank Lite

This kind of app can be obtained at a fee or you can get the free version. The unique thing about it is that, it allows users to get valuable details about Pagerank and/or Alexa rank whenever you are browsing.

SEO keyword checker

This mobile application is absolutely free and helps you to conduct a complete analysis of the keywords you use on your webpage. You can learn about the keyword density and placement on your webpage with the help of this app.

SEO stats

Was one of the most common mobile apps for SEO, you can know your current position on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It gives you a lot of information regarding your place on social networking pages.

Do you use any certain mobile SEO apps for your website optimization? Let us know in the comments section below.

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3 Absolute Essentials for SEO-friendly Mobile Websites

SEO-friendly Mobile WebsitesThere's no doubt that mobile-based search is taking storm. In fact, analyst project mobile search to exceed that of traditional PC and laptop-based search in coming years.

So in addition to ensuring your website is SEO-friendly, it should also be mobile-friendly. In this post, we share three essentials to ensure your website is well-suited for mobile SEO.

1. Retain a SEO-friendly Web Design

A mobile web design needs to be as simply and user-friendly as possible. This often entails the use of more buttons and graphics (as opposed to text-heavy pages, which is preferred for SEO.)

This a major trade-off for SEO. It's critical to have the website as user-friendly as possible given the limited screen space. But it's still important to make the website keyword relevant (which is traditionally achieved via text-based content.)

To ensure your mobile web design is SEO-friendly and keyword relevant, you'll want to keyword optimize the images and graphics you use to make the site more efficient for users. These optimization process takes place before actually uploading media to the mobile website.

For instance, you'll want to name the image or graphic with respect to your keyword targets. In addition, open-up the image properties and keyword optimize the tags, sub-title, description, and comments. This will help you retain the SEO value of your mobile website when precious text is sacrificed.

2. Make Use of Custom Mobile Apps

Although mobile apps are not crawled and indexed by search engines, they can provide an exceptional user experience and can facilitate conversions.

The fact of the matter is conversion rate optimization (CRO) is equally important as SEO. In short, getting traffic to your mobile website is only half the battle. Converting traffic is the other half.

By developing a custom mobile app for your mobile website, you can leverage an interactive platform that takes SEO out of the equation. Yes, you read that correctly. Take SEO out of your CRO strategy with a mobile app. This will enable you and your marketing team to focus your SEO efforts on the mobile home page (and inside pages) without stressing about CRO.

This can be very advantageous when doing ecommerce SEO for a mobile website. Because ecommerce sites can have hundreds and thousands of product pages, it can be cumbersome to ensure each of these pages is SEO-friendly for mobile. A mobile app can be your shopping center, while the mobile site is itself is the hub to funnel traffic to app.

In addition to offering ideal ecommerce SEO solutions, custom mobile apps can beneficial for local businesses too. Take some time to brainstorm, and get creative with you marketing team. A mobile app can be costly, but the returns can be wealthy.

3. Integrate Social Media Icons

Integrating social media icons might not seem like an SEO-friendly tip for your mobile website, but it truly is. Social signals (e.g. +1's, likes, shares, tweets, pins, etc.) are now an important ranking factor that can add significant SEO value to your content.

For this reason, you should not only include social media icons on your website (to promote more followers,) but also include "social sharing" icons on you articles, blog posts, and/or products to make it more efficient for users to share and socially engage with your content (racking-up the social signals.)

Having a strong social media following is a powerful asset for SEO. Social media marketing and engagement should be a top priority for both your standard website and your mobile website. Integrating social media icons into your company's mobile web design is surely an essential step in the right direction.

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[SEO Essentials:] Establishing Google Authorship & Preparing for AuthorRank

 Establishing AuthorshipThe first quarter of 2013 has passed, and with respect to Google search and SEO, there's no signs of Authorship slowing its roll.

In short, Authorship is way for Google to recognize content that's been produced by real people. This is achieved via Authorship mark-up, which is entails proper syncing of one's Google+ and the web page containing the content.

Establishing Authorship in your content has incredible SEO advantages. One of the most valued benefits is generating the image rich snippet in Google's search results (see the image.)

Additionally, respecting Authorship now and publishing your content on authority websites (high PageRank sites) can help you build your "AuthorRank". Although AuthorRank has yet to roll out as means to determine search authority and keyword rankings, it's expected to become a powerful mechanism in determining the value and authority of content.

So what can you do establish Authorship and begin growing your future AuthorRank? Below are a few tips to get you started.

Create & Sync Your Google+ Profile Page

If you're not already on Google+, this is your first step. Populate your page as much as you can and connect with people that you know that are already present on Google+.

In the "Contributor to:" section near the bottom of your profile page, include links to the blogs that you write for. This tells Google that you are an author for those blogs (which helps to establish Authorship.)

Link to Your Google+ Page From Your Content

The next and perhaps most important step in establishing Google Authorship is to include a link to your Google+ profile page from content you produce. This is typically best in an author bio toward the end of the article or blog post.

The trick is include a special Authorship mark-up code snippet in the link. At the end of the Google+ URL, it's critical that you add "?=rel=author" (without the quotation marks). For an example, take a look at the URL in my author bio below to see what this looks like.

Even though there are other ways to establish Authorship and generate the image rich snippet in the search results, this Authorship mark-up snippet is the easiest way to do so. It simply tells Google that you are the author of the content. And when Google sees that you are a contributor to that website (based on your profile page) it puts two and two together.

Grow Your Google+ Presence & Content Authority

The tips above focus on establishing Authorship and generating the ever-powerful image rich snippet in the search results. But to start preparing for AuthorRank you'll want to start growing your Google+ presence as well as you content authority.

Growing your Google+ presence takes consistent engagement and interaction with other people and pages on Google+. There are many factors that contribute to AuthorRank, such as # of people who have you in your Google+ circles, +1's/Shares per post, and your overall Google+ engagement.

Growing your content authority centers on publishing your content on authoritative (high PageRank) websites. This helps define the value of your content and thus your credibility as an author. This takes outreach, guest blogging, and other proactive measures to get your content published on various other sites.

There's no doubt that Authorship and the future of AuthorRank will have a momentous impact on SEO and Google search. Whether you are a search marketing professional or small business marketer, there are numerous benefits to getting a jump on these future changes.

About the Author

Tyler Tafelsky is an organic search marketing expert for the Web Presence Group and centers his practice on content marketing and social media engagement. You can learn more about Tyler by connecting with him on Facebook or Twitter

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5 On-Page Optimization Rules from Organic SEO Experts

The best practices of on-page optimization are always under debate. It seems that everything few weeks organic SEO experts are faced with new search engine algorithm updates that ultimately influence their SEO practices.

In this blog post, we highlight 5 on-page optimization rules. These rules are simple, clear, and agreed upon by most organic SEO experts in the field.

1. Mindfully Keyword Optimize Pages

It's not uncommon to see come across pages that have been (or attempted to be) optimized for 4 or 5 different keywords. This is not ideal for SEO. Either pick the top 1 or 2 keywords for the page, or decide if it would be logical to build a dedicated page for outlier keywords. You'll find it to be much simpler to write concise Page Titles and Descriptions when your keywords are more narrowly focused per page

Keyword optimization is rather easy process. Back in the old days, it seemed keyword optimization will simply stuffing keywords in a page's content (and the more keywords the better.) The old-school days of on-page SEO are now a risk that can result in penalization.

Take into consideration rules to successfully keyword optimize a page.

  • URL's: include main keywords in the URL (avoiding words like "of" or "the.") Shorter URL's are typically preferred for SEO.
  • Page titles: include the keyword phrase only once and try to keep the title under 70 characters.
  • Meta descriptions: include keyword phrase once, but be sure to write an attractive Meta description that compels users to click your search listing.
  • Copy: try to use keywords in an H1 (header) and keyword variations in H2's and H3's. It's also helpful to use keywords throughout in the page text (but do not over-do it!)

2. Create an HTML Sitemap

Perhaps one of the most imperative website elements that often gets overlooked is the HTML sitemap. The HTML sitemap, which serves as a website index (particularly for search engine bots,) is considered by many organic SEO experts to be the second most important page of the website (with the homepage being number one.)

3. Optimize Robust Media Files

Large media files, such as images and videos, can be sluggish for load speed. A fast loading page is important for both usability and SEO performance. You can ensure that media files are optimized by condensing the files size. Additionally, you'll want to ensure that you're not using any Flash media, and that an alternative is used if such features are required on a website.

4. Start Publishing Quality Content

With new features like Google Authorship influencing the organic search results, content creators can gain a massive jump on their SEO competitors. Google places a high degree of value on strong, socially-favored content (especially content that's been marked-up with Google Authorship.) Regularly published content keeps a website fresh and can also help to make a site more keyword relevant for on-page SEO. Whether on a weekly or monthly basis, blogging or publishing articles can offer an expert advantage for organic SEO.

5. Install Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools

To efficiently track and measure web traffic and the level of engagement visitors have on your website, it is crucial that you install Google Analytics on your web pages. Google Analytics can help you troubleshoot technical problems as well as find new opportunities for SEO and conversion rate optimization based on certain performance metrics.

Parallel to installing Analytics is also integrate Google Webmaster Tools. This enables webmasters and marketers to assess the overall health and technical performance of a site. Although you want earn the same degree of marketing insights with Analytics, Webmaster Tools helps you to pinpoint certain problems, such as duplicate web content, HTML code errors and warnings, and too short of page titles and meta descriptions.

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