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5 Old SEO Practices That Now Do More Harm Than Good

Good SEOSearch engine optimization is the turning point of marketing. However, a marketer needs to be vigilant on how they approach SEO when incorporating it into their marketing plan. One can do everything wrong and right when it comes to SEO.

If one takes the essential steps and market their business well by observing some of the critical areas of SEO, then they can beat the most difficult areas of SEO as they will care for themselves. Perhaps, SEO is an iterative process that requires strategizing, measurement and improvement.

SEO keeps advancing and changing on a regular basis. This, therefore, throws serious challenges to marketers to get updated and adopt the new algorithms. There are certain SEO tools and tactics that worked initially but do not work at the moment. They can make someone get punished. Some of these factors are discussed below.

Keyword-Optimized Pages

Initially, people used to target keywords on the kind of content that they place online. Narrowly focusing on a keyword in a page used to kill years back. The higher keyword-focused pages used to rank high than those that did not.

Nowadays, following the introduction of Hummingbird update, Google, and other search engines are looking for how certain keywords have represented various ideas. There are billions of pages that Google analyzes. The pages that perfectly represent certain keywords get ranked high.

This does not mean that marketers need to shun the use of keywords when seeking to improve their Search Engine Optimization. It is a challenge to marketers to keep updated and present content that perfectly represents keywords.

Take the instance of 'sports'. There are millions of pages that talk about sports. Content with highly repeated keyword 'sports' does not guarantee it to appear at the top. Ideally, what matters is how exhaustively that content has been presented. The secret is 'focus much on the topic about the client's needs'. This can often be reveal through an SEO site audit, which you can learn more about here.

Optimized of Anchor Text

Anchor texts used to be popular in signaling the relevance of internet pages. Anchor texts aid in understanding what the whole site is about without necessarily having to read everything. SEO secures a large amount of links for a specific target keyword. Few people now can link a page by the use of anchor text. When used nowadays, it can raise warning regardless of how one spreads them.

The use of anchor text, however, should not be thrown out when it comes to SEO. The secret is 'do not use similar words'. Use sentences that revolve around the keyword instead of using plain keywords to avoid being punished.

Link Sculpting

The 'no-follow' tag that was created by search engine earlier to block spammers does not work now. Google now sees such pages as not preventing any link from flowing out of a page and that it just prevents from leading to a page that is linked to. The best solution to curb this is to eradicate hyperlinks from such pages.

Thin Content

Earlier, it used to be said that content is the king, prince and queen of everything. Marketers and other websites thus rushed for more and more content to attract visitors. Nowadays, it is not content anymore but the quality of it. Good quality, conversion-oriented SEO copywriting increases and improves the reputation of a site.

Buying links

Search engines that came before Google used on-page optimization in ranking pages. When Google was introduced, it changed the tricks of the game and introduced the use of links. Currently, the use of links in manipulating algorithm is greatly penalized implying that the idea of link buying does not work. If links can be used only for advertising purposes, they can still work the magic. But if one needs to use links, they can contact the owners of the site first.

Techniques used by some of the best ecommerce SEO companies are never static but keep on changing day in day out. Marketers should remain flexible and updated to beat the fast-paced trends.

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Could Structured Data Be a Future Ranking Factor in Google?

Google Strictired Data Ranking FactorCurrently, Google denies any claims that it could be using structured data to rank websites on the World Wide Web. The search giant’s denial contradicts with most an SEO professional’s beliefs that structured markup does affect how well a website ranks.

So, even though Google is currently in denial, will it give in in the future? We cannot be sure but there is enough evidence to support a positive for the hypotheses. Below is information which keeps you in the light of what is going on.

Google Hints

As Google puts it, structured data is all about helping its engines better understand your content, which is imperative to actual ranking. Although using Schema and structured data markup does not have a direct correlative effective on how well your site ranks, you may want to anticipate this to change in the near future.

Although informally, Googler John Mueller said that structured markup is something that might be integrated into Google’s ranking algorithm could be in the near future. He continues in the company’s assertion that it is currently not using it for ranking purposes but there is a high likelihood of that Google has an intention of using it in the future. See more about this at Search Engine Land's post on this topic. Or see the video Google Hangout below on his thoughts about this.

Avoid Google Guessing What Your Site Is About

So how would structured data improve the experience of people who use Google to search for information on the Internet? In Mueller’s view, structured markup is integrated into a website to make it easier for their search engines to understand its content.

If someone is browsing for information about a car on the Internet and Google happens to 'know’ pages which are marked up with data for the same car, it will bring up these pages assuming that they will be useful to the querying user. Unlike what they currently do, structured data markup eliminates chances that the search algorithm will guess that a certain page is about the car for which a user needs information.

Better Answers to Search Queries

Mueller however continued to assert that they will not favor pages with great markup technicality at the expense of pages which carry useful content. You might want to recall that useful content in Google’s perspective points out to that which gives the best answer to a web visitor's queries.

All in all, it does not hurt to be in the light. If they are going to throw in structured data, you would better begin tuning up your pages else you will be caught unawares. Think about your competitors; if they have got wind about this development, they are probably adding structured markup to their pages or planning about doing it soon.

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Creative Ways to Embrace Local SEO Link Building

Local SEO Link BuildingNow that it is feasible to develop a website at a fairly low cost, established companies as well as the start-ups have a tremendous amount of competition when it comes to selling their services and products on the Internet.

In a saturated market like this and Google placing the organic search results further down the search page in order to favor their paid listings, it has become increasingly difficult for the small/medium local businesses to have a notable presence without having the need to pay Google for that.

The algorithm that Google follows, which calculates the rankings of all the websites seems like an enigma, has been changing well over a few hundred times a year. Even with this kind of situation, the biggest factor that regulates the Google rankings is based on something that most of us SEO savvy individuals know and don't even care about - the links that we observe on all of the websites.

Consider Google as the polling station across the Internet, counting the votes from all the different links that it finds on the web. But unlike our classic democracy, where every vote from a person is treated to be equal, Google follows a different approach. It gives more weight age to the votes that are polled by the relevant and authoritative websites.

Creative Ways to Approach Link Building

Here are a few creative ways to build links for your SEO efforts. These work best for small/medium scale companies, while established companies need something larger than this.

Let's get started.

1) Gather Your Votes

More than often it happens that the owners of the website do not realize that www.google.com and http://google.com are perceived as two different pages by the search engines. As a result of this, the resulting votes from these two different sources dilute the position your page is entitled to.

This is similar to a political party splitting up into two different entities and the votes being split amongst them. This does no good to both the branches.

The solution for this problem is to notify Google that both the links are owned by a single entity and that you want to count all the votes from www.google.com under http://google.com. This can be implemented easily by permanently redirecting the user from one of the pages to the other. (known as a 301)

2) Offer Writing Testimonials/Guest Articles

Every company has ties with some other company or business to supply products and services. Sit down and list out all the businesses that you use for your website and offer these businesses testimonials from your site. Generally, all the companies have a separate page dedicated entirely for this purpose as the testimonials act as proof for future customers.

So, the company grasps the opportunity with both hands and will be more than happy to provide a hyperlink that directs back to your site from their testimonial page. A win-win for both and this promotes healthy relationship amongst the businesses. This is cornerstone to in-house web presence management services for your company.

3) Detect Existing References Without Links

Locate the web pages that have a mention of your website or business but without a link. Google does not count this as a vote as this doesn't have a link that directs back to your website. This keeps your SEO efforts top of mind with your on-site optimization.

So, how to identify these cases? Try using Google for this purpose. Search Google for "[keyword] inurl:links". By doing this, Google displays all the results where the keyword has been mentioned but on common links pages that are easy wins. Once you get the list of the locations, contact the concerned web page owners and replace the keyword with a hyperlink that redirects to your website.

4) Create a Better Product or Service

Finally, the best way to earn Links. Create a version 2.0 of your product/service that stands high in quality and release it with grace. This helps create a buzz in the market and adds value to your business.

A valuable and credible product/service automatically earns you the required links. This also attracts media attention and follow the previous step and replace every place where your business is mentioned with a link.

Unfortunately, there are no easy and agile methods to ramp up your website's local SEO and rank to the top of the Google's first page. But by following the above-mentioned steps, you can build a sea of links online that can boost your business.

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3 Models of Consultative Content Marketing Strategies

Content MarketingContent marketing has become a very specialized and creative business. To practice it effectively, it’s necessary to explore the many forms that it takes. Here are some of the more popular and effective types of content marketing which companies are currently following.

1. The Magazine Model

This is probably the most popular model with customers and devotees of a company’s website. The magazine model has a number of different permutations and applications, designed to fit the specific product line or customer demographic the company is trying to reach.

Some examples of companies that have excelled in the magazine model of content marketing are:

  • Herschel Supply - Herschel Supply is a manufacturer of quality backpacks, travel goods and accessories. In addition to laying their website out to highlight images of their collections, they feature well-written travel articles about locations around the world.
  • Qualcomm - The Qualcomm website provides a link to their newsroom which they call their Spark platform. This is a collection of new articles and videos revolving around their B2B customers and their interaction with Qualcomm.
  • Net-A-Porter - Most brands lean towards the visual model when it comes to content marketing. But Net-A- Porter sees the value in having articles concerning the fashion world and emerging trends bolster its presentation of images.
  • John Deere - John Deere have done something very clever. They have emphasized the history of their company in the continuation online of a magazine that the company had started back in 1895. The magazine, called ??The Furrow’, is available online or in print.
  • BMW - For the London Olympics and Paralympic games, BMW launched a magazine encompassing everything about the games, and their location. With subtle advertising thrown in, the magazine was wildly popular with browsers.

2. The Visual Model

Visual models work very well for lifestyle type products and companies. And companies that want to present a fresh, colorful and vibrant image in conjunction to their brand.

Some examples are:

  • Intel - This was the perfect campaign for this company. In making products that end-users didn’t use, they needed to be able to connect with the public. There website shows an understated and attractive collection of photos of the applications of their products.
  • Red Bull - Red bull has made action sports their trademark, by heavily sponsoring these types of sports. The visual style of their website supports this aspect.
  • General Electric - G.E. has built a website showing well-composed, interesting, behind-the-scenes shots of their various projects. The photos will appeal to their primary client base engineers.
  • Starbucks - The coffee chain is using Instagram in order to create a lifestyle mosaic-type presentation of the starbucks world. It is clever and visually sophisticated.
  • Coca-Cola - Like Starbucks, the Coca-Cola company is positioning their products as being lifestyle products. They have utilized Tumbler to make an interactive website that is fun for people to look through and discover certain areas.

3. The Website Optimization Model

The third model is more of a mechanical treatment of the content being marketed on a respective website. In posting the content and then using analytics to tweak it and make it more responsive to the Google ranking algorithms. Companies can get the most out of the content that they post. Some companies that specialize in offering website optimization services are:

  • The Web Presence Group - They offer the "The Web Presence Optimization Strategy Guide" that will guide you through their highly capable list of services. Learn more by visiting the official site of this website optimization company
  • TC Top of Mind - Their "Traverse City SEO Guide for 2015" also offers a guide to website optimization services specifically designed for Traverse City.
  • Screaming Frog - This is a UK based company that offers website optimization services for the UK market. Screaming Frog put togetha a creative content marketing programs to showcase the importance of website optimization.
  • Scribendi - This is a website optimization service that takes more of a content focused approach to optimization.
  • Boostability - Finally, this is one of the largest website optimization companies in the world with over $10 million in annual revenue.
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