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5 Common SEO Mistakes Made by Bloggers

Blogging is not something that can be done by everybody. However, if you have the right direct for content and a niche target audience, you could be successful at blogging.

There are a number of things that one should have in mind when it comes to blogging for SEO and increased search exposure. It is important to have a grasp on the basics of search engine optimization to better understand how to publish content that is optimized for search.

SEO Mistakes Made by BloggersSome bloggers can get out-of-hand and over-optimize their blogs. For this reason, it is key to blog for your readers first, blog of SEO second. Here are some common SEO mistakes that bloggers make. By being conscious of these common mistakes, you can better ensure your blog is reader-friendly as well as SEO-friendly.

1) Too many links

There is a common habit of bloggers having too many links in their blog post's content. Links are an essential tool in blogging when they are used in the correct manner. However, having too many of them in one single page will make the page look crowded and this will be a nuisance to your readers.

You should try to use links as sparingly as you can. In addition to this, be selective when it comes to the links that you actually use. Well-optimized SEO blogs only include links are offering your readers relevant information be it on products or information related to the post.

2) Too many keywords

Most bloggers know that one of the basics of search engine optimization is having keywords. However, there are a large number of bloggers who tend to overstuff their content with these keywords. It may seem like a good idea to have a multitude of keywords as logic would dictate that this would make it easier for your site to be spotted online. However, the opposite is true. Too many keywords could result in having your blog penalized by the search engine thus ensuring you have no rankings at all.

3) Not user friendly

Another common mistake most bloggers make is focusing too much on ensuring that the website is search engine optimized then neglecting other factors that will make the site successful. The one thing you require for your blog is readers. Without a following, your content is irrelevant. Therefore, you should do your best to ensure that your readers have the best experience when they are navigating through your site. Internet users will rarely pay a second visit to a website that they did not find user friendly.

4) Incorrect naming when it comes to images

Blog readers can be finicky. A small mistake such as displaying irrelevant text through images on your site could turn them off from being regular readers. In addition to this, this type of text will not even be of SEO value to your website. When describing images on your blog, take the time to come up with the most accurate descriptions. If it helps, you could even include links in the description.

5) Lack of tags

Tags and Meta descriptions are essential in search engine optimization. Search engines will use these to rank your pages. You should therefore take time to come up with brief tags and Meta descriptions that encapsulate the essence of the content that you have posted. For instance, if you are trying to optimize a page for Michigan SEO expert, you will definitely want to include this exact phrase [Michigan SEO Expert] in both the page title and meta description if appropriate. 

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Avenues for Business Blogging: External & Internal

Business BloggingIf you are looking to expand your business's online marketing efforts, accompanying your website with a blog can be a powerful and cost-efficient medium.

In these ever-transient days of web-browsing, users spend as little time as possible on pages looking to extract information quickly. It’s important to build a blog based on quality and value so visitors see credibility and trust in your company.

The two primary types of blogs are internal and external blogs, and below I’ll highlight the differences and benefits of each.

Internal Blogging

Internal blogs are part of a website’s domain. If you have a page for your business and operate a blog within the website’s domain, then that would be an internal blog.

Why They Matter

Internal blogs are important for giving your webpage a voice and visibility for users who already know it exists. By providing updated content on your business’ page, you are building a rapport with the user.

The key behind internal blogging lies within social media. Sharing the valuable content from your business’ page on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ will help inbound some traffic. For something so easy and free, why not do it?

External Blogging

External blogs are not a part of a website’s domain; they exist independently away from your main page.

Why They Matter

The main drive behind external blogging is to build quality links back to your main pages (for SEO). Posting relevant content and having a link directing users to your main page will do well in the eyes of Google’s search engine spiders.

Relevancy is Supreme

Of course, this is assuming the quality you’re posting is relevant to what you’re selling. It’s crucial to develop an external blog with a focused target market. One who would be interested in the products you sell. For example, if you sell commercial grade coffee roasting products, then a blog covering all the little nuances pertaining to quality coffee roasting would be important to cover.

Be Creative in Adversity

You might not sell something interesting enough to make content seem worthwhile, but don’t throw in the towel. If you sold products for polishing and cleaning marble countertops, sure, that’s boring. But giving content a little personality and voice can make even the driest topics less painful to read.

Even though marble countertops aren’t fun and games, make it sound as such. People may be more inclined to read a less-serious take on something like marble care and maintenance. It’s refreshing.

Lasting Effect

In the end, readers will come back to sources which they find worthy. People don’t like their time to be wasted. You’ll gain an audience by being a credible niche source. External blogs have more long-term effect than internal. However, maintaining a professional image requires staying on top of both internal and external blogging.

You can’t post awesome content on other pages and then disappoint people when you accomplish the almighty task of getting them to your page.

Kyle Blasco

 

This blog post was contributed by blog writer Kyle Blasco. Connect with Kyle on Google+

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Using Google Search Autocomplete for Long-Tail Keyword Research

Because obtaining top keyword exposure in Google search is becoming increasingly competitive, optimizing for the right keyword is critical.

As a result of the tremendous competition in the SEO profession, savvy search marketers are researching and optimizing for specific, long-tail keywords.

For example:

Rather than optimizing a clothing website for 'mens leather pants' - a very competitive keyword phrase - a long-tail target that might actually generate top search rankings would be "mens black leather skinny pants," (assuming the online clothing store offered this style of pants.)

How did we derive that five-word long-tail? By using Google's autocomplete feature, or "suggested search."

Ecommerce SEO Keyword Research 1

As a user begins typing "mens leather pants," Google suggests "skinny" and "tight" as more narrowed search phrases. After continuing with "mens leather pants skinny" Google offers even more detailed suggests to help a search find what their looking for.

SEO for Ecommerce Keywords

Now observing what Google is suggesting, we can further pinpoint the ideal long-tail the matches what our clothing store has in stock - "mens black leather skinny pants." We can also see by looking at the search results that the competition is not too fierce. A solid SEO should be able to take down one of eBay's double stacks, in time. Ecommerce SEO Search Results

So as you can see, using Google search autocomplete for long-tail keyword research can be handy tool. In addition to SEO, this little technique can be beneficial for Pay Per Click advertising, too.

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Top 3 Social Media Marketing Sites for SEO

There are so many social media platforms out there that it's hard to determine which are in your business's best interests. If your company is also pursuing search engine optimization (SEO) as a means to direct traffic to the website, there's a few social media marketing platforms that can help bolster the SEO efforts of your business.

Below we highlight three of the top social media marketing sites that can help benefit your SEO strategy.

1. Google+

Top Social Media Marketing Sites for SEO

 If SEO is primary means for your Internet marketing, taking advantage of Google+ is a must. As one of the newest social media platforms, Google+ is like a hybrid of Facebook. However what makes Google+ much more powerful is that it is directly tied to Google search - which is a big deal for organic SEO.

Let's do an example. Joe, who is a Google+ follower of your 'marble cleaner' brand, performs a search on how to clean marble countertops. As he sifts through the search engine results, he notices a Google+ post that really stands out from the rest of the search listings. That Google+ post just so happens to be a Google+ post that you made regarding a recent article your wrote about "cleaning and caring for marble."

Instances like the example above are happening more and more as the Google+ community grows. It's Google's way controlling the quality and relevancy of its search results, all the while building its social media network. For this reason, Google+ social marketing goes hand in hand with white-hat SEO: produce superb and highly relevant content, and share it on Google+. Not only will this generate social signals to your content and website (+1 for SEO,) but its possible that your post could be seen in the search engine results (+1 for SEO!)

2. Facebook

The greatest advantage of Facebook is that it offers cost-efficient opportunities to inbound traffic to your website. Unlike Google+, you Facebook posts are not going to be seen in the search engine results of Google; however, your brand's profile page could very well be optimized for search.

It's thus important that you do not simply create a Facebook page and call it good. Rather, optimize everything you can on your profile to be as keyword relevant as possible. A few ways to do this are:

* Populate your "about" description, "products/services," and any additional fields about your business with keyword-relevant content

* Take advantage of custom URLs. You'll need to have a certain number of followers to do this, however it will significantly help the SEO potential of your profile being visible in search

* Build a link from your website and blog to your Facebook page

Currently, there over 300 million users on Facebook. Aside from the SEO advantages of this social media marketing platform, the ability to inbound direct traffic to your blog or website (via content sharing) is also a powerful technique. So although this isn't a direct benefit for SEO, inbound marketing via Facebook will improve the health of your overall web marketing strategy.

3. Twitter

In the last year, Twitter has grown in leaps and bounds. Similar to Google+, your posting activity in Twitter can actual be ranking in the search engine results. Also awesome for search engine optimization is that links from Tweets can actually help build authority from an off-site SEO perspective.

In fact, we have seen some Twitter pages that have incredible authority (or Google PageRank, to be specific.) This means that any Tweets blasted from an authoritative Twitter account can work wonders for SEO. And when it comes to off-site SEO for ecommerce sites, these tactics can help increase the rank of product pages (from both the link and social signal that's been established.)

The Takeaway

So if your business is investing heavily in organic SEO, these three social marketing platforms can help support your efforts and bolster your rankings. In without question that social media is impacting search. The signals from social media sites are becoming increasingly important in determining search rankings, so get on these three social media platforms and starting sharing excellent content with your target audience.

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5 Web Marketing Tips for Law Firms

If you are looking for law firm web marketing tips that are effective, yet cost-efficient, there are several options that your law firm could explore.

In this blog post we highlight five areas of your web marketing strategy that you should evaluate to begin on the best course of action.

1. Establish Measurable Website Goals

Marketing a website is something most law firms know is important. But far too often, firms will jump right at SEO, PPC, or social media marketing without establishing well-defined and measurable goals. Defining the goals of your website will ultimately help you create the optimal web marketing strategy. If your goals are to leverage your website for more local traffic and lead generation, then local SEO and social media marketing might be the best tactics for success. The answer hinges on the goals and objectives of your law firm web marketing strategy.

2. Start Tracking Web Traffic

Parallel to establishing goals, you'll need to have specific and accurate tracking measures in place to determine success and make adjustments to your law firm web marketing strategy. One of the most popular ways of tracking web traffic is incorporating analytics (such as Google Analytics) on your firm's website. This will provide insightful data for marketing and research, such as where most of your web traffic is deriving, the average amount of time users spend on your site, the top content or webpages of your site, and other behavioral analysis tools to pinpoint weakness and opportunities in your campaign.

3. Evaluate Your Site's Content

In the SEO world, links and social signals are surely powerhouses for success; however, neither of these components will reach their fullest potential if the content on your website is poor. There are two things that your content needs to achieve. It must first offer valuable and relevant content that speaks directly to a specific audience. Next (for SEO,) your content should be respectfully keyword optimized with semantics that will help your site attain top search rankings. Spend some time evaluating your website's content, and remember, quality and value comes first.

4. Take Advantage of Local Web Directories

If local SEO is a part of your law firm web marketing strategy, local web directories can offer a great opportunity to build quality, white-hat links to your site. The greatest advantage of these business directories is that they many of them are free. By listing your firm's website in these web directories, you can inbound direct traffic to your website, directly from the website (not from the search engines.) Lastly, building a presence on web directories also count as "citations." Citations are simply the name, address, and phone number of your law firm. The more accurate citations your law firm has throughout the web, the greater legitimacy Google sees in your website and overall brand. This can help boost your local Google+ rankings (formally Google Places) in the organic search engine results.

5. Analyze Your Competitors' Strategies

Law Firm Web MarketingTaking the time to analyze what your competitors are doing can reveal a wealth of insights for your law firm web marketing strategy. You can do this by paying a visit to their site to see how and what keywords they use through their site's content. You can also use SEO software to check the number of backlinks pointing to their website. This will tell you just how authoritative their website is (and thus how much effort it will take you out-rank the competitor,) as well as offer ideas on where you can go to build some good links to your website.

Take a step back and really look at the grander, more long-term picture of you law firm's web marketing strategy. Don't just think a 1 or 2 years into the future, think 5 to 10 years. Although the web is constantly evolving, position your firm accordingly and take advantage of the freshest opportunities to exploit your brand.

This blog post was contributed by Tyler Tafelsky

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6 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small BusinessesPlanning and executing effective marketing strategies tends to be a challenge for most small businesses. However, one approach that offers an amazing ROI for small business marketing is social media.

Whether you would like to employ simple strategies or would rather make use of advanced strategies, there are numerous market efforts you could pursue by leveraging social media. This includes choosing the right social media marketing platforms, as well as the how you use each of them. 

Below we offer six social media marketing strategies for small businesses.

1. Facebook

The greatest advantage of Facebook is that it offers cheap marketing opportunities for smaller sized businesses. Currently, there over 300 million users on this social networking platform. Although you will not be targeting all these users, Facebook still offers quite a powerful platform for one to build their company’s online presence.

So, what is the basic strategy? You should start off by signing up and securing a username for your company. Keep in mind that if you are using your company name for a personal account; you will not be able to use it as a business fan page as fan pages tend to have a different set of rules when it comes to usernames. The next thing that you should do is research on your competitors. Evaluate the type of presence they have on Facebook, the pages that they have built, and also the number of fans that they have. Take a look at the posts they put up as well as media such as photos and video.

There is also the advanced strategy that you could pursue with Facebook. If you already have a personal account, contemplate how you can extend it to increase your business’ presence as well. There are a number of options when it comes to doing this. The first would be to create a business account but keep in mind that these accounts come with limitations. The business fan page allows customers to register as fans of your page and this expands your online presence. You could also consider running some hyper-local ads on this social networking platform.

2. Twitter

In the last year, this social networking platform has grown in leaps and bounds. It is highly effective for small businesses as it offers you numerous ways of leveraging your company. For the basic strategy, you should start off by opening an account with your business’ name. Although you can tweet about your company from your own personal account, you should let your business have its own online identity. In addition to this, you would rather avoid having your business name taken up by another user.

The next step would be to find out what your competition is on Twitter, conduct some basic searches with keywords related to your business so as to find out what is on offer. You could also search for your competitors to find out if they have Twitter accounts and how they are making use of their accounts. Once you have become familiar with this, you can then start planning on how to use Twitter to your business’ advantage. To make the most of Twitter for your business, you should learn some advanced strategies.

The best place to start would be to familiarize yourself with desktop as well as mobile clients such as Seesmic, Tweetdeck and the likes. These Twitter clients enable you to be more flexible with your tweeting habits thus giving you more control over your Twitter strategy. One of the ways of doing this is through pre-defined searches, which allow you to keep track of specific keywords as well as the people that you follow. In addition to this you could make use of Twitterfall, which enables you to define as well as color-code the different searches that you would be interested in.

3. Company Blog

Although there has been an increased interest in social networks for companies and their social media marketing strategies, blogs are still quite beneficial to small businesses. When it comes to the basic strategy, you could start off by reserving a domain name for your blog in the event that you do not already own a customized business domain name. On the other hand, you could start a WordPress.com blog, which tends to be the easiest option but you will not have full control over the things that you would want to have on the website. Another alternative would be starting a strategy for external business blogging at Posterous. This is a platform that allows people to post stories and various media such as photos, videos, and even MP3 files.

For the advanced marketing strategy, you should start considering building an audience for your blog. The most vital elements of an effective blog is having superior content and a very focused niche. For instance, if you sell marble cleaning products, you may want to focus you blog specifically on tips and solutions on how to clean marble.

In short, You should establish what the focus of your blog will be then create content that is fresh and relevant and that people will want to read. Establish what your expertise is as well as what you would be interested in writing about. Lastly, you should consider ways in which it will be easy for your readers to share your content. Plug-ins such as TweetMeme tend to be a good way of doing this as your readers can easily retweet your posts.

4. LinkedIn

This is a social network platform designed for professionals as it is business oriented. The first step of using this site is by reserving an account in your business’ name so nobody else can use it then you can explore it just as you would Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to the advanced strategies, there are a number of features most people do not use. One of these is the “recommendations” option, which allows your customers, vendors, and so on to recommend your business on their profile. Another advanced strategy would be taking part in subject matter groups. Engaging other members in conversation by answering questions in your niche will increase your presence.

5. Multimedia

This is the use of photos, video as well as audio. The most basic way of doing this would be through YouTube. By uploading videos related to your business on YouTube, you increase the number of people who get to see them. Another option would be using Flickr to share photos.

6. Combine Social Media Tools

With the different social networking platforms, you can now cross–market your business. The ways of doing this include connecting your Twitter account to your Facebook account so that you can post simultaneously on both platforms. You could also connect your LinkedIn account to your blog so that your blog posts appear on your LinkedIn profile.

We hope these six social media marketing strategies will help empower your business for many years to come.

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