While SEO is focal to increasing the search visibility of a website or webpage in organic search engine results, content marketing is completely different approach that has similar aspirations. Content marketing refers to any kind of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content with the aim of attaining and retaining customers.
The two, if merged in an appropriate manner, can bring the ultimate success in inbound marketing. To reach the point of success, you have to look beyond general views of SEO being just about traffic, revenue and conversations. Sufficient evidence from case studies has proven that content planning and content promotion is key to successful marketing. Put in other words, merging SEO to an effective content marketing strategy will ultimately lead to high rankings in search results and consequently building a powerful brand.
When integrating SEO and content marketing, there are four elements that when used, will work to ensure the much sought success in marketing. Top on the list is finding what people want and giving it to them. The other elements include using display ads and retargeting lists to communicate with customers, making special price offers on your product and lastly, evolving a smart content marketing plan to develop content that pulls in your target.
When carried out in the correct manner, content marketing becomes one of the best ways of building relationship with customers. Good relationship with customers leads to the establishment of trust and authority in the given market while positioning the company right in the middle of the buying and research cycle. Being at this position, the company may take control of what they see, think read and do.
A lot of effort has been put into merging of SEO with content marketing but in most of the cases, the marketing ends up failing all together. Reasons for the fails may be attributed to the methodologies used, some of which are based on pure misconceptions. First and foremost, is important to take note that content marketing is not paid content being disguised as editorial content.
The second mistake that is even more costly, is giving the customers the impression that one is selling or marketing. Content should be geared to creating value for customers, meeting their needs and helping them as opposed to being focused on just selling. By gearing content to be more customer focused, you will eventually give a wider reach and impact as more people out there will find your content.
To build your brand and make it a market leader through content marketing, you need to be the most appealing in your market area. This may be achieved using SEO analysis and keyword research done by an experienced consultant to get to know the search users’ needs, intent and questions. Before even going to invest in content marketing, get to know what your customer wants, their interests, desires and problems.
The list of challenges and shortcomings that hinder companies in the merging of content marketing and SEO tactics are generally common and recurring. Some of the content marketing challenges include, weak content planning, failing to integrate content marketing into digital channels and lack of knowledge of digital marketing. To avoid most of the challenges, planning and research should be done seriously. One should also ensure that the created content takes you closer to the business goals.
In conclusion, the merging of SEO tactics with content marketing generates better outcomes where experts work together. It is also quite important to write original and interesting content that is customer focused. Finally, although the merging of SEO with content marketing is not a walk in the park, its returns are numerous and worth it.continue...
As an ecommerce business owner or marketer, PPC ads are one of the many marketing tactics you can employ to draw in new customers (and make repeat customers of those who currently shop with you.) But, why should you integrate the ever-sensitive Google Display Network (GDN) as a part of your PPC ad marketing?
These are a few ways ecommerce sites can benefit from the GDN as an efficient traffic generation tool. So below we share a few insights as to why e-retailers should embrace the GDN in an effort to see a greater return on investment they are making with paid advertising mediums.
With GDN, while clicks may only range from the $2 up to $12 range, this is in comparison to nearly $100 ads used by certain industry leaders trying to get the most per click on an ad. With a good mix or remarketed campaigns as well as general GDN campaigns, these ads will help lead to the targeted traffic your business is looking for, at a more affordable rate than competitor PPC ads.
Distributors, resellers, and similar industries which use ecommerce PPC advertising services, might have non compete clauses in their contracts; here is where GDN ads can work marvelously. Since you are limited by keywords which can't be used in these industries, GDN based paid ads will help draw in the targeted traffic you aren't getting from certain keyword based searches.
No infringement on non-compete clauses, plus targeted traffic via PPC ads, means your business will still benefit from targeted traffic in your niche.
Low quality scores are something we deal with occasionally, even with high quality ads being put out. One such example is having to sacrifice quality, in order to meet a deadline when putting out an ad.
Turning to GDN ads, you won't see the lag in traffic to your site, simply because of a low quality score elsewhere. With highly targeted GDN ads, not only do they provide specific targeted content for your audience, but help bolster your online marketing efforts as well.
Just like managing keyword search and SEO history, you have to measure the GDN ad placement as well. Look for the clicks for certain ads, in order to determine which ones are working and which ones aren't, in order to remove those which are counter intuitive to your efforts.
Targeting your niche with ads is something you should experiment with as well. Using complementary ads through GDN, in addition to search engine campaigns, will help improve your online visibility, and help bolster the targeted traffic you are receiving on your site as well.
Google Display Network ads can prove extremely beneficial as a part of your paid marketing efforts as a business owner. Even when search engine marketing is going well, and PPC ads are working elsewhere, leveraging your site with targeted GDN ads, can truly help bolster your online presence. And, if quality is lacking elsewhere, or if you are overpaying for ads elsewhere, the low cost of GDN ads can help balance your overall costs, and help create a balanced marketing campaign online as well.continue...
Since Google has risen to the top of the rankings in terms of most frequently used search engines, a lot has changed. Google is constantly making adjustments on both the front end and the back end. But lately, the biggest changes with Google surround social integration - namely, with Twitter.
Earlier this year in February, Google reached an agreement with the social media powerhouse of Twitter. The deal is centered on making Twitter posts, which are mini-posts and updates comprised of up to 140 characters called tweets, more accessible via Google searches. The deal would also afford Google increased access to Twitter’s database, allowing for tweets to be featured as results when certain topics are searched.
Initially, tweets will be included more frequently in the list of results that are provided regarding highly trending topics. For example, the likelihood of tweets popping up in the results for the search of "civil unrest in Baltimore" is much higher than the likelihood of tweets coming about in the results for the search of "best ballpoint pens."
Executives at Twitter claimed that the Twitter-Google fusion initiative would be rolled out in May and they kept their word. Some developers claim that it is only on a test basis, but we are now seeing more and more Twitter information coming up alongside the other information that Google provides in its search results. Both companies have been relatively tight-lipped about the process and we can only wait and see what happens.
This deal speaks volumes regarding the integration of social media and socially influenced knowledge translation into the online information environment. It shows us that there is an increasing value being placed on trends in news information, media information, and so much more that individuals are seeking via Google.
In the business sector, so many companies are looking to social media as components of market research and they are able to gain significant insight into the general thought patterns and ideals of the population. Social media also provides information regarding general attitudes and perceptions in a variety of different markets and by having one of the largest social media networks woven into the framework of Google’s widespread influence, the opportunities presented to businesses engaged in search marketing are endless.continue...
Backlinks are one of the foundations of a websites ability to have good traffic and a successful SEO strategy.
If your site (or your client's site) isn't getting the traffic it should, or you feel like the SEO strategy is not producing desired results, then the problem could be over-optimized or damaging backlinks.
Fortunately, nowadays there are plenty of tools available to help pinpoint which links are damaging to a site's SEO indexation and fix its backlink profile to get back in Google's good graces. Below are a steps you can take to Fix a bad backlink profile and resurrect rankings.
The first step towards fixing a negative backlink profile is to figure out which links are affecting the website's ranking. For this, you need to access Google's Webmaster Tools and download the desired website's backlink report as well as scan the domain with tools found at sites like Moz.com to get the last three reports, at least.
Then, you will need to compile all the information as neatly as possible in a way that will be easy for you to go through and pinpoint anomalies, because that is what you will be doing next. Once you have all the information, you will be looking at these specific aspects – anchor text ratio, IP Diversity, DoFollow / No NoFollow links, neighborhood and domain authority.
Anchor text ratio is probably the most important aspect in this analysis. If the websites feature search keywords more heavily than the brand name they are trying to promote, that is an obvious problem.
IP Diversity is also quite easy to understand. A website should not have many backlinks from related domains, as Google takes it as a sign of the use of a network, which is against the rules. If your site has domains from the same IP linking to it, that might be a problem.
A vast majority of DoFollow links is usually a sign of spamming, something which Google certainly does not take kindly to. A healthy dose – about 20% - of NoFollow links will do wonders to a website's ranking. A good balance offers the best backlinks for SEO.
Neighborhood is all about shared hosting and which websites are associated with your own. If you find that the site you're trying to restore shares their host with spam sites or others which have a bad SEO profile, then a host move is certainly in order. To check the website's neighborhood, you can visit Majestic.com.
Finally, you will need to check the domain authority of your back linked websites, because their authority status – or lack thereof – might be hurting your own. There is more than one way to check this, but you will need to do each individually, even when using the resources from Moz.com.
Now you have all the clues to figure out if backlinks are the reason your or your client's efforts aren't producing results. Once all these aspects are checked and fixed diligently, there should be no reason why search engines won't index and rank the website.
If they do, however, you might have a very different problem in your hands. Before you move on though, remember to double-check and make sure the website's backlink profile is truly healthy to avoid future problems.continue...
There are various strategies and resources that are used to boost keyword rankings and overall SEO dominance for local business. But one often overlooked component to attaining better search engine exposure is software. That is, SEO software to be specific.
While there are many different SEO software platforms available, very few are specifically suited for local search marketing. So in this post, we take a closer look at some of the top SEO software platforms that a geared for local search marketing:
Moz recently just unveiled the Moz Local search tool (which was previously known as Get Listed,) and it's quickly becoming a popular local SEO software solution. There is a listing score on the software, along with a column that shows the completion of a particular profile on the top search engines. This is all geared toward citations and the impact these have on Google local search rankings.
With Moz Local, you will also access a CSV template, which will let you control and upload your listings, along with their associate sites. You will also view if you have a listing that requires the authorization of the FourSquare. You will enjoy the software for free, but you can pay an extra $49 per location per year, if you need advanced features.
Advanced Web Ranking is great SEO software will cost you a lifetime fee of $199. With this software, you will be able to search more and more local keywords, which can help you achieve the best.
Advanced Web Ranking also helps you to access and acquire data from top tools like the Google Webmaster API, Word Tracker, Google Adwords and Google Suggest. It also has an interface that is easy to use and one that you can understand easily. The ability to access top search tools is what makes this software handy.
This software has a tool that alternates and combines your target local keywords. 5 Minute Site will specifically target your location and help you get the best from it. Basically, the best thing about the software is that it gives you a lot of variety in the keywords that you are searching for. 5 Minute Site is also quite user-friendly and above all, it is free. You will not be charged any fee for using the software.
Free Local Analysis is free to use and it also has amazing features to benefit your local search. There is a feature that lets you view the summary of the level of optimization of your local listing on your Google+.
With Free Local Analysis, you will also be able to view the elements that are not optimized and those that are optimized on your site. There is also a count for citation and copy citation. In addition to all that, you will have a count of the links that lead to your site, which gives you a general summary of your local SEO campaign. You will also know about your competitors, in comparison to your statistics. It is also only available for the US residents, that is, it only supports the USA local businesses.
These are some of the top SEO software that have been designed for local businesses. Whether you're doing SEO in Traverse City or SEO in a more competitive geographic market like Boston, with more powerful tools, you will be able to utilize and exploit your local market in the cheapest way possible. Some will be free while others will cost you a small fraction.
For more great SEO software and tools, check out Local SEO Guide's local SEO tools page.continue...
An XML Sitemap is a file that lists the URs for a website, as well as additional metadata about each URL. This will help the search engine to index the page correctly and it will make sure that all pages are included.
With the Panda algorithm update, it is more important than ever to have an XML sitemap. The sitemap will help to show that you are the original creator of your content, so that your website will not be excluded from the results for duplicate content. It will be clear that your website has the earliest timestamp for the content. This is very important, since often other websites will copy your content without a formal syndication agreement.
XML Sitemaps can be a very valuable way to improve your SEO, but they need to be used correctly in order to be effective, so here are some important things every website owner should know.
The first step is to build your XML sitemap. Your content management system might have an integrated capability to auto-generate a sitemap, so take a look to see if yours offers this feature. Wordpress does not have this built in feature, so you can install a plugin such as Yoast in order to easily create a sitemap. If your site has other types of content you might need to create different styles of sitemaps, such as for video or images.
Remember that a search engine will only index the first 50,000 URLs in a sitemap, so if the site has more than this amount you will need to create an index and tie multiple sitemaps together. The larger your website, the more necessary it is to have an XML sitemap for SEO and for navigation.
When you use a plugin or a sitemap function on your CMS to create a sitemap, these tools will automatically update your sitemap whenever you add new content to your website. If you are using a different tool you might need to update the sitemap manually. If you aren’t confident doing this yourself, you can always enlist the help of a professional SEO consultant to help you with building your sitemap.
Once you have created the sitemap, the next step is to register it with search engines. There are tools you can use to do this, such as Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Webmaster Tools. Once you do this, the search engines will know where your sitemap is so that they can index the new content.
Another great advantage to registering your sitemap with Google is that it will automatically alert you to any errors within your sitemap. The Google Webmaster Tools service is quite sophisticated and it will be able to provide you with excellent information about any errors that it spots while crawling your sitemap.
When you have a complete sitemap set up on your website it will be very beneficial to your SEO, so why not get started on creating your sitemap today?continue...
The world of digital inbound marketing moves fast. Decades ago, there were a handful of online marketing channels that would enable businesses to thrive. Today, there's a wealth of ways to generate quality inbound traffic to a web property.
With continual changes in this digital marketing world, below we highlight five ways in which inbound marketing agencies are out-doing their competitors, providing exceptional service to clients, and attracting new clients to support their business.
As a marketer, speaking the client's language is key, in today's fast paced world, companies have to speak multiple languages in order to compete. Serving the Americas, Asia, Europe, and other world markets, you must speak various languages in order to compete. More than 1/2 of the top 20 on the list of Fortune's Global 500 are non-English speaking. If you don't modify your business, you won't compete and draw in the clientele.
There are many cultural differences you have to account for. Sure, you speak different Asian languages, but cultural differences can mean insulting a client and losing them, or drawing them in and attracting new ones. Ethnic, religious, and linguistics can get in the way; therefore, it is critical to learn the culture, and ethnic differences, in order to prevent offending clients and getting into trouble in your business structure.
The 48 hour task only takes 24 hours today; the fast paced, non-stop digital world won't stop for you, so your business has to speed up to keep up. New systems and processes should be put into place, on-call consultants, the right software, and the right people, will all go a long way to keeping your business relevant. If you can't keep up, you won't see the new clients coming in, and are sure to lose some clients over time.
Learning how to pro-source, allowing your agency to work 24 hours a day, rather than a 16 hour day, will keep you relevant in the world of inbound marketing. Have a team of experts, in different regions, who can work around the clock. Outsourcing and crowd sourcing allow you to provide the 24/7 service, which is not only desirable, but is expected by most clients in today's busy world as well.
Keeping local control over your remote teams is imperative for your agency to run smoothly. However, outsourcing, having the right resources and software, and using the right tools, gives you the global reach you need to attract new clients, and keep up with online competitors. The agency of the future not only does it well, but maintains control of their teams to provide the best service to client.
The SEO and inbound marketing services of yesterday won't compete in the fast paced, continually changing world of online marketing today. As an agency providing inbound services and marketing services, using the right tools, the right people, and keeping up with the continual changes in every industry is key. Consider these factors to ensure you not only maintain your clientele, but also keep up with competitors in this extremely competitive world of online marketing services.continue...
Mobile website optimization is the process of ensuring that visitors access your website from their mobile devices. Google announced that mobile-friendliness will be used a factor for ranking in the near future. Therefore, after April 21st, your site should be mobile friendly otherwise it will not reach its fullest ranking potential.
In this age of internet of technology where up to 50% of your traffic come from mobile devices, the fact that your site ranking can benefit from mobile optimization in encouraging and also challenging. You don’t want your visitors to avoid your website because it lacks user-friendliness.
For an SEO-friendly, well-optimized website, there are additional things that you should consider when creating mobile-friendly sites. Below we outline a number of elements to keep top of mind when embracing mobile website optimization.
Page speed is very important for mobile users when compared to desktop users. Apart from optimizing images you should reduce redirects, leverage browser caching, and minify code. Enhancing page speed and minimize load speed can significantly improve the level of optimization and SEO potential of your website.
In the past some mobile devices could not support these features, so website developers of mobile sites blocked at least one of them. However, this is no longer applicable because Google uses these criteria to check if you have responsive site.
Mobile devices have simplified and revolutionized the way websites are designed. Here are some tips for mobile site design:
It is important to note mobile devices offer less screen space to the users. To show off expertise in SERPS, be accurate as possible when creating URLs, titles, and meta descriptions.
For business with a local element, the mobile content should be optimized for local search. SEO for local search include standardizing your address, name, and phone number as well as including your state or city name in your site’s metadata.
Here are some design recommendations for mobile website optimization:
Segment your terms in mobile and desktop version, and start desktop vs mobile ranking in order determine their fluctuations. Monitor your competitive mobile rankings to check for any positive or negative changes. This will help you develop sound mobile website optimization strategies to outsmart your competitors.
In conclusion, adopting a good mobile website optimization strategy is the only way to rank higher on Google. Websites which have high Google rankings are visible on first pages on search engine results pages, hence more traffic and business.continue...
Search engines are constantly evolving, and developers and search marketers alike are always having to adapt to make websites easier for consumers and internet users to find exactly what they are looking for. So what are some of the best ways that marketers can greatest impact with their optimization efforts?
Here are three website optimization strategies that can help you get your message out when you are maintaining and updating your website.
One website optimization strategy that you can use on your website in 2015 is utilizing Schema. Schema is a form of microdata markup that makes it easier for search engines to retrieve information from your website and take the relevant information and use it in search queries to give the searcher a more accurate list of results of the pages that they can best use.
Schema is able to be directly coded in HTML address to allow search engine crawlers the ability to quickly search through the coding and find the right content. It is believed that Schema can help turn up website visibility, but important to understand that integrating Schema code into an HTML code takes time and isn’t a quick and easy way to improve standings within SEO. According to Google, Schema doe stye improve website rich snippets, which can help websites appear more in SERPs.
Another website optimization strategy that is absolutely key to driving visitors to your website is building a sitemap that works for you. Having solid content is imperative to maintaining a healthy audience, but in order to have an audience following your site, they have to find it. Constantly updating your HTML site map gives search engines a greater chance of finding the site.
One piece of software that helps you update your site map without constantly updating it by hand is Google Sitemaps Generator for WordPress. Not only does it update after each change to your site, but it notifies every large search engine on the internet today, making it easier for people to find your site and for you to maintain your online presence. The use of internal links is also a valuable website attribute that will be absolutely necessary to use in 2015.
Not only do internal links help navigate websites easier, but they also provide information hierarchy for search engines. Internal links also allow websites to spread link juice and power rankings amongst other web pages. This simple form of website optimization is highly effective for SEO and establishing a greater search engine presence.
And finally, the importance of revamping your website's content. With this website optimization strategy, you want to consider your web audience as the top of mind focus. How old are they, where are they located, what brings them to your website in the first place? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself when you look at making changes to your website.
In order to keep your traffic flowing and visitors retruning, it’s absolutely crucial to keep you audience coming back and looking to you for the information that they want. If your looking to sell more items on your website, consider how you can drive more sales online. Identify your market and your audience and build your website in a way that makes them keep coming back for more.continue...
It is not in doubt that Schema.org has brought about a revolutionary collaboration between some of the world’s top search engines and relevant sites in creating a method that makes it easier to not only identify important information on websites but also to categorize them accordingly.
However, it is worth mentioning that local businesses are largely lagging behind when it comes to adopting current SEO practices and web design. For this reason, local businesses which want to fully utilize the internet to get more traffic and clients are well advised to implement Schema markup. This is because it does allow search engines to display important and vital information such as menus, reviews, citations, hours and even testimonials in various search results.
There are several types of Schema and markup which one can use so as to ensure that their SEO campaign is not only effective but is also on point and accurate. Geographic markup is a very vital strategy which a company can adopt by ensuring that the business’ contact and geographic information is correctly listed on their site.
There are various categories which can be easily found under the local business section of Schema.org and used as part of the contact page or footer of the website, this includes details such as operating hours, accepted mode of payments, address, fax, address, mailing address and other relevant contents of a citation such as the business name.
A search for your local business will be displayed on search results with local busines information; making it easier for a potential client to get in touch with your business. Because, geographic markup is fully supported by Google maps, users can even be provided with highly detailed search results which are usually very helpful for clients who are pressed for time or are just keen on getting it right the first time. Integrated Schema markup for basic business can help better your local SEO efforts.
Another important markup worth taking into consideration is the events markup. Many local businesses tend to struggle a lot when it comes to publicizing and shouting about their events. The Schema.org has dedicated sections dealing with events by other businesses and sporting events. These events are further categorized into different events such as music, comedy, food, festivals etc.
For the best display results, it is important to use the most specific markup possible. It is also advisable to use Schema on all your events, including meetings and workshops so as to make your events easier to find in search results related to local events in that particular area.
Even though Google Authorship is not promoted directly by Schema.org, this is a very important piece of markup which any local business which regularly updates its content or has an active blog should implement with speed. By simply connecting the name of the author on the website to their respective Google+ profiles; the search engine finds it much easier to categorize the author’s written content online this does without doubt lead to greater exposure and hence traffic.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that contrary to popular belief, creating a custom Schema markup for your local business is not a very difficult or technical undertaking; there are currently several form generators in the market which will automatically generate the required code automatically once you choose the appropriate categories and properties.continue...
A variety of software, tools, blog articles, learning resources, and services for SEO.
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