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The Magic of Content Marketing

Content is king on the Internet, hence why it is very important to use it in the right manner to market your products or services. Content writing is a very crucial aspect of Internet marketing, and if you can't get your content right, then you are likely to struggle with your online business efforts. 

Article writing is one of the most effective ways of inviting customers toward your product or service. The Internet is a repository of splendid article directories. These are quite popular among Internet marketers because this is an easy way to connect with highly relevant consumers, and in a very economical way.

Article marketing helps an Internet marketer in two ways. First, writing optimized articles can help build links to your website, and thus making it more popular and found in the search engines. Secondly, well-written articles about your product or service can further establish trust and reputation for your business. A compelling article can make you seem like an expert in your field, and thus motivate readers to learn more (by visiting your website.)

Content marketing can be performed through writing press releases too. It is said that a press release can reach the potential buyers in a telling manner. That is, instead of boasting your product or service, your tone is more neutral and simply explains "what is."

Many Internet marketers are realizing the innate marketing power of press releases to generate more leads to their products or services. That said, make genuine use of the writing press releases, and explore some of the most popular press release publication sites that can make the most of your content, such as PRWeb and PRNewswire.

Content marketing can improve the popularity of your website to a great extent. Not only can your search engine rankings get a boost from the links built in your content, but the content that you publish is promotion piece in itself for curious readers.

Search engines have a flair for well-written, unique, and highly-relevant content. So as you move forward with your content marketing efforts, write to the reader and focus on the value you can provide them with your content.

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Starting Your Own External Blog for Your Business

Starting an external blog for your business can offer a number of benefits. Most of these benefits center on increasing both new and reoccurring traffic.

Before we dive too deep, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of what an "external business blog" really is.

What is an external blog?

An external blog is publishing source that is on a separate domain (.com, .org, .info) from the business's website. As opposed to an internal blog that is a part of the domain (whether as a blog page or a sub-domain,) external business blogs can offer greater flexibility and additional SEO value.

Typically, external business blogs are built with theme or topical relevance to that of the business. However, what makes an external blog for a business more flexible than an internal blog is the ability to brand the external blog as its own entity.

This is where it is important to really "carve your niche" with you blog and set the stage for highly focused content. For instance, if local winery is unveiling an external blog, they will want to focus their content specifically on the wine industry. Furthermore, the winery could carve its niche deeper by focusing the content of the blog unique aspect of wine and how it relates to local interests.

Developing an external blog that flows with the brand of the business is key to attract targeted, in-market traffic. Flexibility and creativity come into play when determining just how aligned the brand of the blog meets that of the business.

Brand your blog strategically

All blogs should have a primary goal. The common goal for most blogs is to attract users to the blog (with solid marketing and interesting content) and funnel that traffic to the website of the business.

To do that, you need to brand your blog in a way that relates to your target market. The type content in which you plan to publish plays a big role in positioning the brand of the blog. Also a factor in blog branding is the nature of the target audience.

Does your blog seek to advise and teach visitors? Or does your blog seek to inform and enlighten visitors? The answers to these types of questions can help you determine the ideal brand image of your blog.

Populate your blog with precision

Referring back to the concept of "carving your niche," the content in which you publish on your blog is your way to achieve just that. Expansive blogs that cover a broad range of topics typically have a number of experts and writers populating the blog (to cover each topic.) Evaluate your goals and your resources, and start determining the target theme to position your blog.

Regardless of your area of specialty, stay focused on your niche and write content that stays specific to your blog's topic. Sometimes writing about topics that are outside the realm of your blogs topic may seem tempting, but always try to stay close to your blog's main idea.

Generate SEO value from your external blog

The SEO value of your external blog comes in two ways:

  1. inbound traffic from visitors who find your blog, and later make their way to your website
  2. building keyword-targeted links to your website to help its search engine rankings

The first SEO advantage of inbound traffic hinges on the quality and nature of your blog's content. Again, highly focused content that speaks to a precise audience is imperative to compelling visitors to further explore your blog and find their way to the website of your business.

Link building with your blog can help you grow your rankings in the search engines on specific keyword targets. The practice is quite simple. You must first have a blog story that relates to the link (or anchor text and URL destination of that link) that you want to build. It is important to ensure that the article or blog post has some relevancy to that of the link.

In addition to content relevancy, the anchor text, or link text, should contain the keywords in which you are targeting for the page receiving the link.

For instance, let’s say a small batch winery on the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan is supplementing the local SEO efforts of its website with an external blog. In that blog, they are writing articles about various wine-related topics in the Leelanau Peninsula region. To make their website more relevant (and better optimized for) searches like "Leelanau Peninsula wineries," they should use the anchor text "Leelanau Peninsula wineries" in the links that they build from their blog to their website.

Well that about sums up this post on external blogging for you business. If you have any additional insights, or questions, please post them in the comments section below.

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How Personalized Search Engine Results Affect SEO

Google is becoming more intelligent in how it caters to SEOs into today’s more personalized search engine. Gone are the days of developing webpages with keyword-infused content, building a few inbound links, and calling it good.

Now, in addition to having a well optimized website, the content itself must be liked and appreciated to win the SEO game. Quality content that is socially shared via the Google +1 button will have great authority and seach engine prowess. Personalized search engine results are chaning the way of SEOs

In essence, the future of Google's search engine algorithm will weigh social authority more than link authority.

Rather than building a keyword optimized website and building links to that site, SEO's are more involved in building online brands. And "well-optimized brands" will funnel solid, market-relevant content through a number of channels, such as social media, email, articles and blog posts.

Creating top-notch content and strategically delivering that content will facilitate greater interest amongst the masses. It is already evident through "Search Plus Your World" that Google's results will display content that reflects the user's historical searching trends as well as content that is socially endorsed by friends and peers.

For instance, if you have read an article about the health benefits of red wine (and furthermore +1'ed that article,) Google will remember that you have interest in health as well as red wine. This will later influence your search results, as well as those of your friends when they go to search for something of similar nature.

Some SEO experts believe that the techniques of traditional search engine optimization are long gone. Although changes are taking place, is not particularly true.

Moving forward, SEO professionals should still be focusing on the indexing of a website as well as its organization and ability to be crawled by search engine spiders. The new challenge for SEOs it start thinking creatively and outside-the-box in how a brand can generate greater attention.

In short, SEOs will need to direct their attention toward returning visitors with respect to an individual's history with Google, rather than solely on new web traffic.

Content Relevancy & Freshness Wins

The content of your website needs to offer more than simply keyword relevancy. Your content must speak relevantly and personally to the target audience. Doing so requires creativity and dedication to end users, and focusing how your brand interacts.

Start thinking in terms of dominating your keyword category and begin building your overall online brand around that category. Content is still the main authority of SEO and will contribute to how well the site performs, however presentation is key.

Imagine the internal webpages of your site as the bolster of the category or keyword theme. Still optimized each page in a similar fashion as you would using traditional SEO techniques, but create content from the users perpective and what elements of the content would induce a +1 or further social sharing.

In addition to being relevant, keeping content fresh and updated is also a winning factor to the new face of SEO. This will contribute to content being crawled and indexed more frequently, which can correlate to greater search engine performance.

Fresh content can be achieved by contiuous updates and new posts (such as on a blog,) or integrating customer reviews on product pages for ecommerce. Once again, creativity must be exploited for each brand can take a unique approach to sustaining freshness and relevancy.

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The Power of Content Marketing for Inbound Marketing

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

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

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

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

Developing content for your website and landing pages

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

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

Developing content for creating awareness

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

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

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

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

Blogs and articles

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

Press releases

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

White papers

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

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

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Attract New B2B Leads with a Content Marketing Strategy

When it comes to establishing and maintaining a strong web presence for your business, a great avenue is to create a content marketing strategy. Not just any run-of-the-mill scheme that entails poor content creation and ineffective distribution mechanisms. If you are looking to attract not just Internet users but also deep-pocket businesses, marketing your info-rich content to the right audiences can have a momentous impact on generating B2B leads.

While most content marketing strategies are based on a business to consumer (B2C) approach, a content marketing strategy anchored on B2B is different. Whereas materials and information shared on a business to consumer marketing ploy are rather "general," B2B-focused content marketing is more specific to the delivery of information that's tailored to enhance and maintain sales cycles and generate business leads.

With that said, the rules of content marketing that is focused on business to business design is almost similar to the approaches used for business to consumer marketing. Here are some of the effective tips you could use to make your B2B content marketing very effective in getting the business leads you need and the connection you require to become an authority in your business niche.

Focus Your Content Marketing Strategy on User Value

The first thing that you need to know when creating content is that search engines as well as internet users regard content value as an utmost consideration. The whole web is flooded by worthless articles and poorly written blog posts that are basically trash. When you produce content material, you make sure that people will find it informative, entertaining, or in some way share-worthy. Otherwise, using articles of little to no value will not only lead your marketing campaign to shambles but also ruin your site’s reputation.

Think of you consumers first before search engine crawlers. Although content marketing empowers search marketing, when you write with your audience in mind, there is a tendency that you produce content that people can easily relate to and understand. A readable article is a whole lot better than 10 write ups of trash. While search engine crawlers help index a site and determine its ranking in the search engine results pages, when you write for people instead of bots and crawlers, it is like you personally reaching out to them and telling them that you have the solution to any issue that are experiencing or will experience.

Broaden Your Web Presence with Rich Media

Content marketing these days no longer operate within the boundaries of words, articles, and blogs. The advent of social networking sites has created a huge impact on how sites are optimized to get the highest rankings in search engine results pages. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram offers various platforms with which content marketers can use to launch their content.

The content marketing benefits are empowered by social media. The beauty of social media and networking sites is that they are not limited to words. Many products are now presented via educational and informative videos, excellent snapshots, and audio recordings.

Content marketing is still a huge tool in getting your online presence the visibility it needs to get some leverage. Do it right and you will find significant improvement in your site’s performance as well as a boost in your sales.

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Google Panda 4.0 Update: A Briefing for the SEO Community

Google Panda 4.0Since the first launch of Google Panda in February 2011, the name of this algorithm update became a nightmare for many SEO's and website owners, including huge names in the industry.

The new Google Panda 4.0 update was no different then the first. The main objective is to support websites that have high quality content while penalizing sites that have duplicate, meaningless, and spammy content.

Website owners who only optimize their content for ranking high in search engine results without providing something valuable to visitors will lose, because the update aims to prioritize the usefulness of high quality websites for readers.

The new update had some negative consequences on reputed businesses, such as eBay, History.com, Ask.com, biography.com and many others.

On the other hand, some popular websites had a lot to gain from this and good examples can be buzzfeed.com, glassdoor.com, medterms.com, etc.

These websites are known for their high quality, original, unique and useful articles. According to what SEO's are saying, it is quite difficult to know if your site has been penalized or not. But, you can still be successful if you do things right.

The Future Moving Forward

It is not known when this series of updates for Google Panda will end, but until it will, many websites will continue to be destroyed. Content that has already been posted thousands of times will not be considered unique even if it is written a bit differently, so you will have to create really original articles for Google to consider them reliable.

It can be hard to do that, but with enough practice and work, it can be achieved. This is for a greater good, as in the long term sites with awesome content that really deserve to be well ranked will have a lot to gain. If your websites have that originality, there is nothing to fear of, because Google will notice your work and rank it accordingly.

To stay abreast the latest on Google Panda, visist SearchEngineLand.com's Panda News section and keep up to speed.

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The Ideal Length of Your Online Marketing Content

Content marketingIf you’re going to create influence with content marketing, then it goes without saying that you must get the length of the content right. The biggest question then becomes, what is the ideal length of online-based marketing content?

While most online marketers may want to wish this question away, the truth of the matter it’s a very crucial question. The ideal content length is determined by a number of factors including industry standards and the level of engagement with the readers. While there are no rules cast in stone as far as the length of your content is concerned, there are universal guiding principles outlined below as per content type.

Blog Posts and Articles

The ideal length of a blog post varies from one author to the other. For instance some authors are comfortable writing short blog posts while others can write posts containing more than one thousand words.

According to statistics, the ideal length of a blog post should take the reader about seven minutes to skim through. This in essence means that it should be 1,400 to 1,750 words long bearing in mind that a typical person reads 200 to 250 words per minute. Anything that takes more than 7 minutes to read might not prove to be very popular.

Blog posts and articles should be broken in to short paragraphs to enhance readability. Use headings, subheading and bullet points. Have line breaks and let the length of each paragraph be three to four lines long. Also, if you're doing guest blogging, then be mindful of your blog host and the nature of the content presently on the their site.

Social Media

There’s a set upper limit on the number of characters you can use in most social media sites but no lower limit. Here’s a look at how long your content should be on various social platforms.

Twitter

If you want your tweet to be re-tweeted a number of times, then it should have 72 to 100 characters. Keep in mind that you need to engage with the audience and desist from using all the 140 characters allotted for tweeting. One hundred or less characters are bound to attract up to 117% engagement rate.

Facebook & Google+

Images are very powerful when it comes to creating engagement on Facebook and Google+, which are both very similar in nature. As a matter of fact images attract up to 120% engagement rate. How about text posts? What is the ideal length to encourage engagement?

According to some quarters, long posts put up a poor engagement standpoint. The perfect length for a Google+ or Facebook post should range from 100 to 119 characters.

Streaming Media

Short videos and podcasts will attract more viewers. Videos which are 30 seconds long usually have an amazing 85% completion rate. The ideal length of a YouTube video should be between 3 to 4 minutes so you must ensure you pass the intended message to your audience as fast as possible.

Title Tags and Meta Description

Title tags need to be eye catching while optimizing the keyword at the same time. A title tag shouldn’t be too long; it should be 50 to 565 characters and in case it’s longer than that, Google will abbreviate it.

In the same breath, Meta descriptions should be short too. They should contain precise words to summarize content, thus their ideal length should be between 150 and 160 characters. For more best practices regarding content length for title tags and meta descriptions, check out this blog post.

How long or short your content should be depends on a number of factors. The guidelines outlined above are just that; guidelines. They are meant to help you make the most out of your content and Internet marketing efforts; therefore it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all there is to content-length.

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