Are we making Website SEO too complicated?

Posted by frank harris on 05/02/19 16:34

b2b seo 1218-1SEO has a lot of moving parts - and that can mean a lot of wasted time and effort if we're not organised.

Here’s a SEO process that stays focused on results.

 

With the world of SEO crowded with options and resources, it’s time to get back to the basics and simplify the process, especially when launching a new website.

 

So how can you use all of the data and great tools available to create a more streamlined and simplified approach to SEO?

Simple doesn’t mean easy

Simple is about focus, consistency and results. You need to focus on delivering results.

 

By simplifying your SEO strategy, you will strip from it some of the “extras” that don’t really matter and begin to focus on the tasks and actions that help your site achieve its overall purpose.

Website SEO begins with goals

You must have a plan. Goals help us define your desired destination. Once we define what you want, you can work backward to create a strategy to get there. Here are a few questions to ask:

 

1.  What is the purpose of my site?

Is it to drive leads? Sell a widget? Connect with content? Your site’s purpose is directly related to the kinds of goals you will see.

 

2.  What do I want to achieve?

This is where you outline what your end goal looks like. Is it revenue-based? User-based? Traffic-based? Defining what it is you want will help you determine whether you are succeeding.

 

3.  How will I measure success?

After you know what you want to achieve, you need to know what to measure. To be sure that you have a positive ROI, you must know what numbers count. For instance, if you need to generate leads, you are going to need not just to drive traffic, but to drive traffic that will convert. It makes no sense to have thousands of visitors if none of them convert.

 

4.  Who is my competition?

Knowing what you are up against is important. Looking at your competition, what they do and how they do it can give you some ideas on how to take advantage of the holes in their search marketing strategy.

Action-based strategy

Once you have your goals in place, it’s time to build an action plan. Again, you must understand that every site is different and what worked in the past may not work now.

 

When building your strategy, ensure you stay focused on the end goal. Forget everything that doesn’t help you reach your SEO goals. Identify the tasks that will get you the desired results, and then prioritise them.

During this phase of the cycle, think about key strategic partners you can bring alongside you. The internet is all about connections, and if you want to have SEO success, you must always be looking to connect.

Real results

As mentioned above, you have more access to data than ever before. This is both good and bad. The key to reporting is reporting on what matters.

When I say, “real results,” I am referring to anything that has a real impact on the advancement towards the end goal. At this point in the cycle, review what you have done and the impact of those actions. Here are four simple questions to answer.

  • What worked?
  • What didn’t?
  • Why?
  • What’s next?

The goal here is to figure out if you’re headed in the right direction. You may not always have concrete answers, but by asking these questions, you can ensure that you’re looking at the data that matters. The most important of all the four is the last one. Don’t get stuck in the results and data. Look forward and keep pushing.

Making adjustments

Now, just because you have a plan, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. If fact, it’ll never go perfectly. After you have reviewed the “real results,” it’s time to make calculated adjustments.

You’re not stuck having to do it over and over. The adjustment phase of the cycle helps make sure that you stay aligned with your goals.

Use the data you’ve collected to make tweaks, add and remove action items and refocus your strategy around your goals.

Around we go again

After you’ve made the tweaks, the cycle starts back at the top. Take time to review your goals after each time around. I have found that after going through the cycle one time, the goals I set in the beginning need to be shifted slightly.

 

A key thing to remember is that you must allow yourself flexibility in the process. Keep it simple. Define what you want. Put together a plan of action. Review the results and adjust as needed. SEO doesn’t have to be super-complicated; it just needs to be focused.

 

This is especially true in optimising a new site. To get the full story in this instance, download the whitepaper from the link below>>>

 

new website seo checklist

Tags: SEO for small business, small business seo marketing, seo traffic, seo for b2b business, b2b seo programme, website seo

What they don’t tell you about Small Business SEO

Posted by frank harris on 13/09/18 16:02

seo-notebook-notes-ss-1920Small business SEO is tough.

I’ve worked on countless projects where the company has seriously underestimated the resources needed for small business SEO campaigns.

 

More often than not, they’ve read a case study online where someone has scaled up their organic search traffic from zero and is now bringing in hundreds of thousands of visitors to their website each month.

 

“Well, if they can do it, why can’t you?” they ask me.

 

They see the same things being mentioned by “SEO experts” that guarantee success:

  • Create lots of great content, and it’ll start to rank.
  • Google loves fresh content, so the more the better.

The chart below represents how a lot of people imagine SEO gains over time: a nice steady upward trend of traffic.

 

seo time line 1

 

The reality is that it’s more like this:

 

seo time line 2

 

Organic traffic growth is often unpredictable. You might find yourself doing SEO for quite some time with very little to show for it — then, suddenly, one of your pieces of content gains traction. Once it starts ranking, it has a knock-on effect to a few more of your pages, and you start to then see straight line growth.

 

Even during this period, it just takes one of your big traffic-driving pages to slip down to page 2 of Google, and you’re back where you started.

 

I’m sure a lot of people reading this right now have experienced this very thing. This is how even some of the most successful SEO campaigns pan out.

It’s not all about “great content”

Contrary to popular belief, great content isn’t enough.

 

Without doubt, the biggest cause of failure with SEO campaigns is the assumption that simply creating great content will get you results.

 

Yes, your content needs to be great. Yes, it needs to resonate with your buyer personas. Yes, it needs to be aligned to the keywords that you want to rank for.

 

All of the above is true, but if you don’t have great promotion, too, then that content will end up gathering dust in the nether regions of Google’s search results.

 

Nick Eubanks wrote a great article recently titled, “Content is Queen.” He described the very thing that I’m talking about and showed a number of examples where “great content” has completely failed to deliver results.

 

Here is one of the examples that Nick talked about:

 

seo blog 3

 

A lot of time and effort has clearly gone into this piece of content, which sits at nearly 7,000 words total. It’s full of useful stuff and is what you would class as fairly “linkable content.” But if that’s the case, then why has is only earned four backlinks from two websites (including Nick’s)?

 

The reason is that this content hasn’t been promoted well. The only evidence of this piece of content being promoted is on the brand’s Facebook, SlideShare and Pinterest presences.

Not all your content will rank

It’s common for a large proportion of your overall organic search traffic to come from a very small proportion of your overall content.

 

seo blog chart

 

 

Here’s some data from a study that, Pam Vaughan, did across the HubSpot blog. She found that 46% of all of their blog leads came from 0.5% of their blog posts (just 30 posts out of nearly 6,000!). Considering most of their small business leads come from organic search traffic, you can see how this can reinforce the point I’ve made above.

 

Don’t worry if this is the case with your own website. My advice here is to dig into what’s making the small number of posts so successful and see if you can “reoptimise” your underperforming content accordingly.

More importantly, don’t just tear down a piece of content and start again if it doesn’t perform as well as you had hoped. There are lots of ways to leverage or repurpose existing content, some of which I’ve described in detail in my small business SEO tips guide.

Links really do matter

This one can’t be stressed enough: Backlinks matter.

 

If you think that big websites online with a lot of “authority” don’t need to worry about links, then you’re mistaken.

 

Backlinks are probably the single most important factor toward ranking for competitive search terms, and they matter just as much to established websites as to brand-new ones.

 

There is very strong positive correlation between top-performing content within organic search and the number of backlinks that content had.

 

Even for a website as authoritative as HubSpot.com, they still need to have a backlink strategy to ensure that our small business marketing content ranks well.

 

If you really want your campaign to be successful, plan for the worst, focus as much of your time as possible on the promotion of your content, and don’t make assumptions before you’ve actually gathered data.

 

For help in getting your small business SEO the best it can be, just download the eBook from the link below>>>

 

lead generation

 

Tags: internet marketing for small business, small business marketing, SEO for small business, SEO services

15 Quick Ways to Check the Health of your B2B SEO Programme

Posted by frank harris on 22/08/18 11:17

B2B SEO programmeIf you are running an B2B SEO programme, you are in for a long haul. Sometimes, it takes from 6 months to a year to see a slight improvement in online visibility attributable to SEO efforts. How do you know if your efforts are paying off?

B2B SEO Programme Purpose

A successful SEO programme does not just bring traffic to a website. It brings the right visitors who are interested and willing to invest in your products and services.

 

You also know that only continuous effort will bring perpetual results. Checking on the health of your SEO programme allows you to stay ahead of any problems and prevent a penalty disaster.

 

The main goal of SEO is to increase your brand’s online visibility within specific topics to expand reach and brand recognition. If your on-page SEO is perfect, it’s likely that you worked hard to make your content unique, useful, with personality. You promoted the content on the channels where your customers frequent. Some of them commented and shared posts they liked.

 

Now, here’s how you can tell if your SEO programme is a success. Score high at these metrics and enjoy the benefits of high rankings while tracking meaningful KPIs.

  1. Measure organic and referral traffic in Google Analytics.

Check monthly and look for an upward trend. Search traffic share is typically the largest. If direct traffic is over 30%, you have a problem with traffic attribution. Use Google Search Console to generate a list of links to your site.

 

The more links to more pages, the better your linking strategy is. The more links from similar topical websites, the more relevant your site is to that topic. Increasing the number of inbound links to specific pages will show you which content is unique and useful.

  1. In Google Search Console, check the queries and keywords that brought traffic.

First, look for trends. Did any pages dramatically gain or lose impressions? Any surprises when you compare devices? Then, sort by clicks, impressions, click-through-rates, and position (highest and lowest). Any anomalies? You can combine Google data with SEM Rush data for deeper insights into your ranking and top pages. Just remember that you are looking for trends, not precision. You want to pick metrics that show your topical relevancy.

  1. Search for your brand name.

Use incognito mode on Chrome or add “?pws=0” at the end of Google Search URL when searching for your brand name. Your brand should dominate the first page of SERPs. If it does not, shift focus to brand recognition.

  1. How mobile-friendly is your website?

If a large percentage of traffic is from mobile phones, there’s no excuse for your site to have a bad mobile user experience. But even if you get very small number of mobile users, you must be mobile-friendly. Searchmetrics gives you an excellent overview of mobile traffic. Google Analytics will allow you to segment data by device. Keep an eye on the pages that drive the most mobile traffic and monitor ranking.

  1. Pay attention to site speed.

This is an important ranking factor and a potential annoyance for visitors. Google Page Speed Insights is helpful. You are looking to show that your website is getting faster, obviously. Check load times of specific pages with Pingdom Tools.

  1. Check on-page SEO

I will not cover technical SEO audits here. Once a quarter checks of your site will show it to be a reliable well-oiled machine at your customers’ service.

  1. How relevant is your traffic?

Traffic only matters when it converts. Use metrics like conversions, bounce rate, number of pages viewed in a session, time on site, etc. to monitor traffic quality and engagement.

  1. Track number of pages indexed.

Compare the number of pages submitted in the site map and the number of pages indexed. You are looking for the number of indexed pages to rise. Check how fast your new content gets indexed, the faster your pages are added, the more trustworthy your website is. Check for 404 errors with Xenu and 301-redirect them to the new destinations.

  1. Increase number of landing pages.

The more you have, the deeper the linking, the better search visibility. Track the number of your landing pages as well as the share of traffic the top pages bring. If your top pages keep generating a consistent number of clicks, your B2B SEO programme is doing its job.

  1. Can search engines crawl your website?

If search engines cannot crawl your website, you will get no organic traffic. Most likely the reason for crawl errors are technical issues. Try ScreamingFrog to discover any problems. A quarterly technical audit is a sound way to avoid technical issues, resulting in a penalty.

  1. Webmaster messages.

If there is a problem with your website, Google will send you a message which you can pick up in Search Console. Even though it may never happen to you, it helps to know where to look if your site disappears from search results.

  1. Increase Relevance and, therefore, Qualified Traffic.

Majestic group links to a website by topic. The more links from relevant sites, the more authority your website is gaining in that field. Of course, grouping is not very granular, but can still be helpful.

  1. Improve conversions.

Google analytics is your best friend in tracking leads, subscriptions, downloads, sign-ups, comments, likes, shares, etc. Count every desirable action as conversion. You can then see how well organic traffic is converting compared to referral, for example.

  1. Increase social traffic

Use Buzzsumo to check social shares for specific blog posts. There are many tools that will measure comments, reviews, ratings, etc. Social media brings traffic; organic and paid -convert it. If time on site, average number of pages viewed and conversion rate are high for organic traffic, you’re doing well at identifying visitor intent.

  1. Increase stickiness of the content.

Nothing indicates relevancy better than sticky content. Track return visitors, especially to your blog pages. Low bounce rate and high number of pages per visit also would indicate visitors’ interest in what you have to say.

Takeaways

Reporting that your B2B SEO programmes are doing well - traffic growing, site is getting more popular, brand is gaining authority in its relevant field, and your visitors keep giving your content thumbs up for usefulness is satisfying.

 

Conduct the above regular checks to show that your website is crawlable and does not have technical issues. Track metrics that provide an overview of topical relevancy and structure. Obsess with user experience and usability, and check content performance. Monitor links – quality, velocity, topical relevance. Listen for social signals.

 

Know your personas and their search intent by attracting qualified traffic to your website through increasing number of relevant pages. Bring the information visitors are looking for directly to them through easy navigation and clear messaging. Show that visitors keep coming back for more and demonstrate better conversion because of improving quality , uniqueness, and usefulness of your content.

 

Regular checks and adjustments based on results will keep you ahead of competition. With increased traffic, as we said comes more conversions but how. Well follow the link below>>>

 

lead generation

 

Tags: SEO for small business, small business seo marketing, seo marketing, seo for b2b business, b2b seo program, b2b seo programme, b2bseo

Is an “Affordable SEO Marketing Package” Sensible for your Business?

Posted by frank harris on 12/04/18 16:08

SEO JUly 17-4A couple weeks back, a small business owner, spoke to me who was redesigning his website. Their web developer was offering them a monthly SEO package as a component of the entire sales process. Not having researched SEO in-depth, they were reluctant to make the investment without more information.

 

“I am a small business in the mist of redesigning our website… I have not had time to research SEO to be at comfortable place. …can I wait to pull the SEO contract trigger till the site is done or do I need to rebuild the site with the SEO provider as a partner in the generation… could I hire an independent after the fact and have as good performance from someone or group who did not build the website?"

 

You can replace “web developer” with “PR Firm”, “Branding Agency”, “marketing consultant”, etc.

 

First: as a fellow business owner, I never like to be rushed into a significant business decision without a reasonable level of preparation.

 

But more importantly, this decision maker needs to understand what the fee being proposed gets the company; in terms of production, deliverables, and potential impact.

 

Here is a paraphrased version of my reply:

  • I agree that SEO best practices done in coordination with a site redesign are important.
  • That said, I am inferring that this “package” is for ongoing work (i.e., link building, content development, etc), and not just onsite work specific to the redesign.
  • Make sure to get a list of key responsibilities and actions the SEO package will address, to better evaluate value and impact.
  • Consider obtaining competitive quotes based on this responsibility list or additional online marketing related needs.

How to Evaluate a Monthly SEO Marketing Package

In addition to the above, here are some additional points to consider in the evaluation process, regardless of the vendor in question.

  • Why do you need SEO in the first place?

It’s obvious to me but as an online marketing consultant, I certainly have bias You want to make sure SEO will help your company reach desired business goals and objectives. In other words: "how does this investment compare to other marketing channels invested in? How effective are those channels at generating business for you? Ultimately, answers to these types of questions set a baseline for SEO programme expectation."

  • How does the SEO vendor explain their process?

While some SEO vendors may not wish to reveal their list of tactics, basic philosophies about SEO should be explained and related to how they relate to broader business goals. They should also be able to provide examples of tactics in action where possible.

  • What benchmarks does the SEO vendor recommend for measuring performance?

Even though your organization will (should) have its own KPI’s in place already, it’s important to ask the SEO vendor for recommendations on performance measurement. In most circumstances, benchmarks should include a mix of business performance and production-specific SEO measurements.

  • Does the SEO vendor have demonstrable, related client achievements?

Individual keyword performance is not now a part of the puzzle. The SEO vendor should come prepared with case studies (comparable ones if possible) illustrating background, challenges, and results – and be able to back this up with references you can reach out to direct. Do they understand you and your business model for success? Are they even asking? (Red alert if they are not of course).

  • Finally, what are the actual contract terms being agreed upon?

Beyond SEO and any further offers made as well as being purely business-based, how easy is it to get out of a signed contract? You want to know what your total financial commitment would be if performance fails to fit your agreed expectations and how proactive you need to be in addressing termination, renewal, and other time-related concerns.

Final Thoughts

In the example leading this post, it turned out that at least one component of the “SEO package” was to simply push various organizational web addresses through a range of social media sites, multiple times a month. Package pricing was influenced by the number of times this tactic was executed.

 

While social media marketing can be a powerful resource for link acquisition and broader brand development (even lead generation), simply pushing web addresses across social media sites as a tactic alone, seems questionable. After all, most social sites “no follow” the links generated, which instructs search engines to ignore these links for ranking relevance.

 

But there is certainly debate on how social media influences traffic and what types of social media signals create that influence.

 

Bottom-line, it’s important not to rush into a decision and to get all the information possible to make an educated decision. Interview the vendor to better understand their philosophy, approach, and examples of how this tactic will be executed.

 

From my perspective, I offer a full proposal that covers everything I will do to help reach the company’s objectives. As an educator, it covers not only traffic generation but lead generation, lead nurturing and advice on how to convert the leads when they are warm.

 

For a FREE hour, or so, consultation on how this works and how I might be able to help you just follow the link below:

 

free online marketing consultation

Tags: SEO for small business, small business seo marketing, b2b seo, seo package, seo marketing

How vulnerable is your site to Negative SEO?

Posted by frank harris on 22/02/18 11:06

negative seo.jpgRecently I saw some research on SEO that literally shocked me and, working day by day to protect clients’ websites, that’s pretty hard to do.

 

A UK search engine optimisation company compiled a list of 84 local businesses consisting of plumbers, lawyers, carpenters, Locksmiths, IT service providers, builders, accountants, cleaning companies and even skip hire companies and emailed them all using the name of Negative SEO Ltd. Via email an offer was made to bump competitor’s sites off the first page(s) of Google, which would bring the recipients site up in the mix accordingly.

 

They were interested to find out if Negative Search Engine Optimisation is a real threat in the UK and how many recipients would be willing to sabotage the websites of their peer group. Staggeringly, almost 50% of the companies approached were happy to join the ‘dark side’ of internet marketing and accepted the offer, and a further 30% were happy to employ the services of the spoof company pending more information.

 

It’s a much bigger problem than I previously thought and some pundits are also suggesting that negative search engine optimisation is no longer the exclusive practice of the ‘Black Hats’ (the bad guys of the internet) but that some ‘White Hat’ companies (the internet good guys who follow best practice) are also tempted to employ nefarious means to bump the competition off the top of the log pile.

 

Personally, I think it’s a problem that particularly affects small to medium size companies who are not employing the necessary hygiene practices needed to keep their sites safe, and that probably amounts to 75% of the people reading this article.

 

So, what can you do to make sure that you protect your site against the wrong kind of search engine optimisation? Here are 5 practical steps that should make it hard for the ‘Black Hats’ to cripple your site.

Monitor your backlinks.

Use tools such as Open Site Explorer, or even Google Webmaster tools. A sudden spike in backlinks is cause for concern. Beware links filled with words like Viagra or online poker and large numbers of links from overseas.

Set up email alerts.

Google can send you an email alert if it manually penalises your site, if your site is attacked by malware, or is suffering other problems. Go to Google Webmaster Tools Preferences and enable email notifications.

Protect your strong backlinks.

Negative SEO players can impersonate you to request webmasters to remove links to your site. To prevent this, always use an email from your domain, not an email address from a Gmail, Yahoo or other free service, when communicating with webmasters.

Watch for duplication.

Black Hat players can ‘scrape’ your content and repost it on hundreds of different sites to hurt your rankings. Use Copyscape.com to monitor the Internet for unapproved duplicate content. You can add either your website or the text an article to CopyScape to find where your content is being published.

Monitor social media mentions.

Black Hats can create fake social media accounts that impersonate your organization and damage its reputation. You must spot the activity before any damage is done and then report them to the social media network as frauds. Use a tool like CyberAlertBuzz that can immediately inform you of mentions of your organisation or brand in social media.

Disavow links.

Disavow spammy backlinks with the Disavow Tool in your Google Webmaster account. Some digital experts recommend disavowing links only if you’ve received a penalty or email warning from Google.

 

Clearly, attempting Negative SEO is alive and well and has plenty of people willing to use it as a weapon to disable the effectiveness of competitors’ sites. Hopefully, if you follow the advice above, or even better have a trusted partner to conduct regular hygiene checks, your site will survive unscathed.

 

For more information on how to generate traffic via positive SEO, follow this link:

 

lead generation

 

 

Tags: SEO for small business, SEO services, small business seo marketing, b2b seo

Which Social Media Platforms Should You Use for SEO?

Posted by frank harris on 06/02/18 10:22

Social Media PLatforms 0118.jpegSocial media has become a wonderfully diverse field, with dozens of different platforms in all kinds of different niches. While some powerhouses have clearly risen to the top (i.e. Facebook), some platforms offer incredible niche opportunities for businesses trying to get the most out of their campaigns.

 

But when it comes to choosing the right platforms to support your SEO campaign, things can get a bit confusing. It's too much effort to pursue a strategy on every single platform you can find, but at the same time you want to make the most of your budget. So, which social media platforms work best to support an SEO campaign?

Why Social Media Matters for SEO

First, we need to clarify an important misconception: social media doesn't directly affect your search rankings. It may seem like getting more popularity on social media could feasibly improve your rankings, but that's not how Google's algorithm works. So why is social media still important for SEO? Because it has a number of peripheral benefits for your search optimisation strategy:

  • Building an audience - Social media makes it easier to build an audience, helping you expand your brand visibility and reputation, which in turn makes it easier to pursue SEO strategies like link building.
  • Promoting your content - Syndicating on the right platforms can also increase the reach of your content.  With more reach, a better reputation, and a bigger audience, you'll also stand to earn more inbound links, which have a powerful effect on your organic search rankings.

A Look at Some Platforms

Now let's look at how each of today's major platforms can help you in this regard:

1. Instagram.

First up, we have Instagram, which now stands as the second-most popular social platform in the world (with over 400 million users). Instagram has a huge visibility advantage--if you run a contest here, you could easily attract hundreds of new followers or retain some of your older ones. It doesn't take much effort to manage a branded account, but there's one major disadvantage; you can't include links in your posts. This makes it exceptionally hard to distribute your content and earn more links.

2. Facebook.

Facebook remains the king of social media, with more than a billion users worldwide and enough flexible functionality to make even the pickiest marketer happy. You can post links, written content, images, or video, and employ contests, run ads, or join groups and participate in discussions. It's arguably the best platform for content syndication and audience growth due to its universal appeal, but keep in mind that organic reach is slowing down, making it more difficult to scale effectively.

3. Twitter.

Twitter is a fast-paced platform that allows you to syndicate links quickly and reach out to new people easily. For these reasons, it's one of the better platforms for quickly building an audience and pushing your content out. However, the main drawback for Twitter is that it's showing signs that it may be past its prime as a social media channel. Many people have predicted the imminent death of Twitter, and its user base doesn't show many signs of a potential recovery.

4. LinkedIn.

LinkedIn serves a great niche - professionals, entrepreneurs, and career builders. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks. LinkedIn caters to individuals, so there aren't as many opportunities for brand pages to get visibility. However, if you're using personal brands as conduits to gain connections, participate in groups, and promote your core brand's content, it can be highly effective.

5. Pinterest.

Pinterest's format makes it a make-or-break platform for most brands. If you're interested in promoting image-based content or appeal to its consumer demographics, it can be one of your greatest assets. However, there isn't much range of functionality here, and it's not going to appeal to every business. It also has a comparably smaller user base than the above candidates.

Though all of these platforms have advantages and disadvantages for SEO, you still need to consider how your specific brand fits into the equation.

 

Different platforms will cater to different individual brands, so it's important you know what your specific business's advantages and disadvantages are.

 

For example, if you're consumer-focused with lots of visual products, Pinterest will work better for you. If you're a business consultant catering to late-career professionals, LinkedIn will be better. Of course, the only way to tell for sure is to try a platform and see how it performs--just don't be afraid to cut the dead weight. 

 

For more on SEO and how it can get you leads, check out the link below:

 

lead generation

Tags: SEO for small business, social media marketing, small business seo marketing, social media

How Content Marketing Boosts SEO: A Guide for Modern Marketer

Posted by frank harris on 24/10/17 15:42

content marketing boost seo.jpg

 

It seems like the lines between content marketing and other marketing strategies blurs each day.

 

There’s always a new development that offers best practices here with the strategies there.

 

Modern marketers must understand these overlaps and how they affect their daily tasks. In my experience, SEO professionals and content marketers deal with this the most. You’ll certainly find differences, but you can’t ignore the similarities.

 

There are practices that will, in turn, boost your SEO results. They accomplish an awful lot for SEO.

Build High Quality Links

Content rich sites generate 97% more links.

 

Why? Because when you have more content, there’s more for others to link to. There’s not much of a reason for people to link to your Homepage or About page. They may, at some point, but those scenarios are few and far between.

 

On the other hand, producing content creates material that others may find helpful, useful and beneficial. When that happens, they’ll want to link to you.

 

It’s the SEO dream come true. Building links to your site without prodding on your part.

 

The easiest ways to market your content for link building include:

  • Publishing and promoting an industry resource. Create an article that goes deeper than anyone else on a topic. Your goal is to make this the resource that everyone in your industry looks to for information. And when they’re looking at it, they’re linking to it too.
  • Submit guest posts to top industry blogs. Forget about the panic when it was announced that guest posting was dead. High-quality, strategic guest posting is still alive and well. It’s all about creating valuable content first and reaping the link-building benefits second.
  • Links through media mentions. Only actual media mentions produce high-quality links, and they help build brand authority. As Google continues to evolve, we’re probably going to see this become more and more important for SEO.

At the end of the day, to get links is by publishing content that deserves it.

Rank for Long Tail Keywords

Since 2004, long tail searches have increased by 68%, but there’s no reason to spend your technical SEO optimisation energy trying to rank for keywords that only gets a handful of searches a month.

 

However, long-tail keywords account for a large portion of search engine traffic.

 

search graph.jpg

 

How can you take advantage of the long tail? Through content marketing.

 

When you’re writing in-depth, valuable content, you’ll naturally use several variations and formats of different keywords related to the article topic. In fact, you may not realise how many long-tail keywords you’re using - but search engines will.

 

Then there’s the strategic approach that uses long-tail keyword research. You can easily conduct this type of research using different tools:

Google Suggestions

When you search for a broad keyword, Google helps you make it more specific by suggesting a series of new keywords for you in the search field’s drop down box.

 

You can also find suggestions at the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP).

 

Each of these suggestion areas gives you a good place to start when looking for long-tail keywords. Keep drilling down using the suggestions and you’ll stumble on some great ideas for phrases to incorporate into your content.

KeywordTool.io

KeywordTool.io takes it a step further by searching for queries that have the keyword within the phrase — instead of just at the beginning:

 

rock climbing.jpg

The suggestions from these tools do more than just give you ideas for long-tail keywords. You’ll also find ideas for new topics that you haven’t discovered. Don’t shy away from keyword research just because SEO isn’t your thing.

Increase Social Media Signals

There’s now more emphasis on the influence of social signals in search results than before. SEO is directly impacted by the following social signals:

  • Number of people that like your brand on Facebook
  • Number of Facebook shares
  • Number of Twitter followers
  • Number of tweets mentioning your brand name or including a link to your website
  • Number of people that “have you in their circles” (Google+)
  • Number of followers on LinkedIn

Content marketing encourages high numbers of social media signals. When you’re publishing and engaging, people will want to share, follow and mention you. And, according to a study by Searchmetrics, that’s directly affecting your rank.

 

ranking factors.jpg

Publishing content that people want to share can increase your rankings. It’s knowing how to create things that engage your personas.

 

Sharable content wins.

 

So, the next time you write something and get excited about the social shares it gathers, remember that you’re helping your SEO.

Keep Fresh Content

Last, but not least, content marketing helps boost SEO because it keep your website fresh. Google loves fresh content.

 

SEOs understand that fresh content gets indexed rapidly and often ranks higher than older content. If your site releases new content, and the site has historic authority, you’ll get an initial SERP boost by hitting “Publish.”

 

Exploring that idea, a bit more, statistics show that, on average, websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages.

 

Marketing your content requires consistent output, and so does SEO.

 

That’s right, there’s yet another reason that you need to stick to your editorial calendar. It helps boost your SEO, ultimately leading to even more visibility for the content you’ve created.

 

For more on why and how content marketing can help you get more leads and business, follow this link:

 

small business content marketing

 

Tags: SEO for small business, content marketing, keyword marketing

Effective Link Building for SEO in 5 steps

Posted by frank harris on 21/09/17 14:47

backlinks.jpgGoogle uses hundreds of ranking factors to pick up relevant pages in response to user queries on link building. And links remain the strongest quality signal to search engines, outweighing most other ranking factors.

 

However, with Google's updates and link spams, link building has become a "skating on thin ice" practice, unless... you know the rules to follow.

  1. Analyse competitors

Unless you're building links for a new website, you must first analyse the backlink profile of the site. Then look closely at link profiles of your high-ranking competitors – this will reveal the practices that work best for them. You will need a backlink checker app at this stage.

  1. Research Techniques

There's many directions to go:

Mentions

There may be web pages that mention your company, but don’t link to your website. Contact the webmasters and ask them to add links to the posts.

 

Similarly, look for mentions of your competitors. Websites that mention them may mention you. 

Product or service reviews

It’s likely there are blog posts written about things related to your business. Reviewing them is a win-win — the blogger gets an idea for a new post, and you get the exposure, additional traffic, and quality links.

 

Bloggers often publish comparison reviews. A comparison that could include your business can be a potential link.

 

An outdated review of a product or service that is similar to yours can also be a great place for a backlink, as the post author may be willing to update the copy with a description of your product and a link to your site.

Guest blogging

Google only recommends that guest posts only be published on relevant websites. Avoid guest blogging networks or websites created purely for posting articles. Here are the common qualities you can recognise these by:

  • A free design template;
  • Articles and posts not centred around any particular topic;
  • No signs of comments or social shares;
  • No authour biographies;
  • No contact details.

Press release distribution

There are dozens of press-release syndication services (eg. PRweb, PR Newswire) that let you to submit your copy. This technique allows you to get lots of links quickly. However, use this with caution; its mass usage is against Google's guidelines.

 

However, if you want to get real press coverage, you'll need to approach journalists directly.

  1. Find potential link partners

Now it's time to search for potential backlinks. Since a manual search could take days, use apps like LinkAssistant to automate the process. However, I suggest you use a SEO specialist to show you how to use it. Remember, to regularly check your inbox and quickly respond to partners' emails — and get ready to see your links (and rankings) grow.

10 Quality Guidelines for Link Building

  1. Do not acquire links of the same type too quickly.
    Although no one can tell you how many links per month is too many, ensure you take it slow with a few links per anchor text — and watch the rankings response.
  2. Minimise the number of easy-to-get links.
    Try to keep the number of links from blog and forum comments, link directories, bookmarking websites, etc. as low as possible.
  3. Avoid link placements within spots not intended for editorial links.
    Such spots include a page's header, footer, sidebar, and navigation elements.
  4. Double-check the backlink page's accessibility to search engines.
    The linking page should not be restricted in robots.txt or by noindex/nofollow.
  5. Ensure the backlink page is indexed and cached.
    If a page has not been cached in over 3 months, this may indicate that search engines do not consider it important.
  6. Don't engage in guest blogging or article marketing unless you know what you're doing.
    Do not obtain links from guest posts, article directories etc. if you're not 100% sure about their quality.
  7. The backlink page and website must be related to your niche.
    A website about aquarium fish is not a good spot for the review of a steel fabricator.
  8. Check if the backlink page or the domain ranks in top 100.
    If the page doesn't rank in top 100 for keywords listed in its title tag, chances are search engines do not think very highly of it.
  9. Pay attention to the social media metrics.
    If the domain has no likes or shares, it may indicate that it has low traffic and little value.
  10. Do multi-level link building.
    Promote the page that stores your content and backlinks. Syndicate it through social media or include links to it in other publications.

Finally

As you gain more links and more traffic, keep monitoring your backlinks. Here are tips on monitoring your link-building campaign and its effect on your ranks:

  • Ensure your Google Webmaster Tools account is well set up. Check it now and again for manual actions or abnormal growth of backlinks.
  • Monitor organic traffic via Google Analytics. Watch for any unusual growth or decrease.
  • Track keyword rankings regularly and watch how they respond to new links. A sharp drop may indicate a search engine penalty — then, you'll need to look at your links and eliminate potentially dangerous ones.

Most importantly, remember to create valuable content, as links tend to build themselves for quality content. Create posts that offer answers and solutions. Don't forget to syndicate through social media, making it easy for visitors to discuss and share your content in social networks.

 

For more on SEO tips check this:

 

lead generation

Tags: SEO for small business

10 SEO mistakes to Avoid in Small Business Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 13/09/17 15:59

B2B_SEO.jpgYou have a website and you want people to see it via your small business marketing. The trouble is, you have an awful lot of competition. If the world wide web is a beach, the websites on it are grains of sand.

 

So how do you make sure your grain is the one your personas find? Avoiding these ten SEO mistakes is a great start…

1. Focus on your content

Think about your search habits. When you run a search, how often do you look at the second or third page of results? Exactly. That’s why SEO — and the content you put on your website — is so important.

2. Don't focus too much on SEO

Back in the day, getting to the top of the search rankings was as simple as having the right keyword combos in your content. And the more you mentioned those keywords, the better. It made for pretty stilted content.

 

Flash forward to today and keyword stuffing will get you kicked down the rankings which now you cannot measure, rather than up. Google has learnt context — and rewards sites that produce quality content that answers users’ search queries.

3. Think about your reader

It’s essential to think about the type of reader who will be visiting your website. What do they want? What are they searching for? What problem do they need to solve? What are their fears and desires? Their ambitions and needs?

 

Google and all the rest of them are phenomenally good at making sense of your small business marketing content and matching it to relevant searches. So, think about what your reader is searching for and frame your content accordingly.

4. Don't plagiarise content

Pilfering content from another website without their permission is illegal. And you will sink down the search rankings like an anchor to the seabed. In extreme cases your entire site may be de-indexed, making it impossible to find through search.

5. Don't duplicate content

By this we mean having identical content on different pages of your website. Google doesn’t like it. It wants you to be original, so get your creative cap on.

6. Don't ignore the <title> tag

Your <title> tag tells search engines – and readers– what your page is about. It will be displayed on the search results pages, and in your visitor’s browser tab, so make sure it’s clear to incentivise those clicks.

7. Don't make the navigation too complicated

It goes without saying that web users want websites that are clear, logical and easy to click around. But did you know Google prefers simple navigation too? It makes it easier for its search bots to crawl and index your content – so there’s more chance of your website being returned in the search results.

8. Optimise for mobile

Google rolled out one of the single biggest changes to its algorithm ever. It now favours websites that are optimised for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Put it this way: if your competitor’s website is mobile-ready and yours isn’t, it probably won’t be you that gets the clicks.

9. Don't forget about SEO optimisation for your images

Google’s search bots are pretty clever, but they don’t have eyes. Give your images descriptive names — for example, leather-chair.jpg rather than img201752 — and use alt-text to explain what your image portrays. Sure, a picture says a thousand words. But a short sentence to explain it will go further.

10. Don't get obsessed with traffic volume

If you run a high street shoe shop, you don’t want it to be full of people who have no intention of buying shoes. The same applies online. Attracting lots of visitors shouldn’t be your goal. The aim of the game is to attract the right type of visitors – i.e. your personas. Use your small business marketing to keep your content relevant to your products, services and the problems of your audience.

Keep up the good work…

Now you just need to stay on top of your SEO housekeeping. Monitor broken links. Keep content fresh and updated. Track your analytics to see which pages are performing and which aren’t doing so well. SEO isn’t complicated, you just need to commit to staying on top of it. And when you do, you should be rewarded with more traffic, a more engaged audience and an increased bottom line.

 

To find out more about SEO click on the link:

 

lead generation

Tags: SEO for small business

8 Ideas a Reputation Cleansing with SEO

Posted by frank harris on 01/06/17 15:10

REputation via SEO.jpgThe Online Reputation Management (“ORM”) sector is a “big business”. It handles development, monitoring and repair of online identities of individuals and brands.

 

While this is a robust industry, you can correct a reputation situation for yourself.

 

These tips are to help you clean up your search results, in mitigating a reputation issue.

 

The SEO And ORM Relationship

 

In online reputation repair cases, the focus is placed on a name or identity represented upon multiple pages instead of your primary home page.

 

If you have one or two negative things that appear in search results when your name is searched  - whether they are swindles, a defamatory statement or negative review pages - there will typically be other pages within the results that are either positive or neutral.

 

For an online reputation repair project, we’re looking to enhance the ranking capability of the positive and negative items appearing in search results to displace the negative content.

  1.  Positive Content

If your company isn’t closely associated with good content, it’ll be less powerful than any negative content specifically targeting your name.

 

For search engine algorithms, you’ll want your company name in the text  in a number of advantageous places on the page.

  1.  Title Tag

The page’s HTML title element is the most important item for zeroing in on your company and making the page rank well when that name is searched.

 

The page’s title should contain your company’s name

For social media profile pages, the user name or field where you specify how your name appears will automatically handle publishing this in the title .

  1. URL

All pages’ URL should contain your company name.

 

When including your company’s name in a page URL, it does not matter if the name is in uppercase, lowercase or a mixture — search engines are case-insensitive.

 

Use a dash or full stop or as last resort underscore to separate entities or leave out spaces!

  1. Domain Name

It’s good to have a website that has your targeted name as the domain name (e.g. www.johnsmith.com). If you have this, it already accomplishes including the name within the URL. Having the keywordas the domain name is a very strong ranking element for SEO.

 

Remember, it’s not enough to simply register a domain for your company. You also need to build content on that domain.

 

How much content you’ll need to build out will vary from case to case, but it’s good to start small. Create some simple text that includes your company, and be sure to include it in your title tag and in HTML header tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) too. This text is easily read by search engines and can increase your domain’s relevancy score, thus enabling it to more effectively rank higher for searches on that name.

  1. Social Media Profiles

It’s important that you have public social media profiles on some of the most popular social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and LInkedIn.

 

In addition to creating a profile, develop those social profiles. For example, expand your numbers of followers, engagement levels, and influence on those services in order to give those social accounts the power necessary for them to rank well for your company.

 

Your influence scores, as reflected by Kred or Klout, can be used to give you an idea of how you’re doing.

  1.  Images 

If you’re building a page or site to focus on your company, post some key images to focus on your company e.g. logo and ensure the company name is in the ALT text.

 

Also post a few images of the subject on image sharing sites (Pinterest, Instagram Twitter etc.), using similar image/file/URL naming conventions.

  1. Links 

Links still comprise an important part of Google’s search engine ranking algorithm, so it’s a good idea to build links to the properties you’d like to be ranking well.

 

Interlink among your social media accounts. Use your blogs and website to link to your social media accounts, via icon link buttons to those accounts.

 

For small businesses, distribute your business information (name, address, phone number, website and social media links) through a listing distribution service. They will send your information to online directories, local search engines and other directory services so that these data sources will refer back to your main web presence components.

 

You can set this up for free everywhere, but it can take so, use a distributor to deploy it on your behalf.

  1. Video

Videos use a lot of space in search engine results pages, use video if you can. It could be a brief video resume, or an advertisement.

 

This is not complicated, and it’s become easy with smartphones, tablets and laptops that have built-in cameras.

 

If you don’t want to shoot a video, you could use images and text to compose a video sequence, using free online video creation tools or slideshow presentation software.

 

Once  created, share it on YouTube – again, naming it with your primary keyword and adding description information that mentions your keyword.

 

A video is essential in a reputation repair project, because most reputation-damaging materials are typically not video content - and, Google likes video content that targets a keyword, giving it special power to rank high in search engine results.

Check Your Progress

Take screenshots of your search results for the first few pages of results before you do anything, then compare periodically with new screenshots.

 

Be aware of search engines changing the order of results based upon a number of factors, such as your location and search history. Thus, try to get an objective view of how others may see search results containing your name.

 

Also, searches you conduct may affect your search results reputation,. Thus, if you search for your company and click on a negative item a lot, you may be reinforcing its ranking power.

 

Whatever you do, don’t despair! Reputation repair on your company is not fun. However, using these basic steps, you should reasonably expect to get a few more positive assets to begin appearing on the first page of search engine results, where they may begin to push down the negative content.

 

For more basic information on SEO download my eBook from the link below:-

 

lead generation

Tags: SEO for small business

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