5 Small Business Marketing SEO myths that can Hurt your Search Traffic

Posted by frank harris on 19/02/19 15:34

seo 0219Of all the digital marketing methods, small business marketing SEO is by far the most misunderstood. Constant changes to how people use the web and the role of search engines mean there’s always something new to think about.

 

Not to mention an endless stream of rumours and SEO myths that come along with each new development.

So here are five of the most common myths about SEO, because making the wrong assumptions about the state of search marketing is the fastest way to hurt your rankings.

  1. Organic Reach is getting Smaller and Less Important

While it’s arguably true organic reach on Google is getting smaller, it’s a symptom of something else entirely. For every ad, Knowledge Graph card or answer box on Google SERPs, there’s a new opportunity to connect with users. Most notably, we have the Google Maps feed which provides space for both organic and paid local listings.

 

There are also countless searches that still come back with zero ads, no local results or any other Google products. The key here is user intent and Google provides various types of results pages, depending on what people are looking for. Sometimes organic listings are the priority (informational searches), while other times ads (commercial searches) or local listings get the advantage.

 

If organic reach on Google is getting smaller, it’s because new ways of reaching a wider audience are being integrated. Today’s small business marketing SEO uses all of these to connect with searchers in a more relevant way.

  1. Content Marketing is the new SEO

In 2011, Google waged war on web spam, starting with the first Panda algorithm update. Since then it has tightened its policies on content quality, keywords, link building and the fundamentals of search.

 

This led some to argue content marketing had replaced SEO and that ‘quality content’ is all you need to rank. While it’s true content is the vital ingredient, it’s only worth creating if people get to see it. So technical aspects of on-site optimisation, how you handle 301 redirects, maintain your link profile or use deep linking to ensure the right pages of your site rank are as important as ever.

 

Content marketing hasn’t replaced SEO; it’s become a critical part of it. Meanwhile, search marketing has grown into something much bigger than content alone. 

  1. SEO plays a Smaller Role in Marketing Today

The rise of social media and content marketing had many predicting the end for SEO. Instead, search optimisation has grown bigger than ever as it overlaps with web design, development, user experience and everything else an online business needs.

 

Factors like loading times, mobile optimisation and security certificates are all direct ranking factors now. They also have an impact on other ranking factors, too, because poor experiences lead to higher bounce rates, fewer page visits and ultimately less valuable traffic.

 

The priority in SEO today isn’t only to deliver the information people need most, but also provide the best user experience possible. The aim is to improve the quality of traffic, keep visitors on your site for longer and give them every reason to keep coming back.

  1. Social Media Surpasses SEO

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your content and driving traffic to your website. However, there’s a key difference between the kind of traffic that comes from social networks and search engines.

 

Social users are casually browsing content until yours grabs their attention, while searchers are actively looking for it. That’s a huge distinction and the latter comes with the kind of high purchase intent you can’t afford to ignore. We’re at a point now where we must catch consumers at various points of the buying process to make sure they don’t end up shopping elsewhere. Some of these interactions take place via search, others on social media, in-app or even offline channels.

  1. Desktop isn’t Important Anymore

Google has announced what we already knew by telling us more searches take place on mobile than desktop. Many involved in small business marketing took this as a cue to forget all about desktop and plough everything they’ve got into mobile. This is a big mistake, though and another of our SEO myths.

 

Mobile is certainly the now and future, but the desktop isn’t done yet. There are multiple fears over mobile security, mobile checkout performance and the user intent of each device. The fact is people still complete the buying process on desktop more often than mobile - at least for now. What’s interesting is that both mobile and desktop conversion rates are increasing every year, although mobile is closing the gap.

 

So there are 5 myths removed for you, whether you are planning a new website or updating your work to get more traffic to your existing one.

 

For a complete up to date way to optimise your site follow the link below:

 

new website seo checklist

Tags: small business seo, small business seo marketing, small business marketing strategy, small business website marketing, small business online marketing, website seo

SEO for Better Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 12/02/19 10:21

content marketing 0119As marketers we should provide our customers with quality experiences. One way is by implementing a customer focused content marketing programme.

 

Content marketing includes blog posts, infographics, email, podcasts, and many other content types. Every online channel provides a unique way for us to reach our personas. So, we need to optimise every piece of content to make it easier for people to find.

 

Competition for your audience’s attention has never been higher and it’s challenging to get your content in front of your personas. This challenge continues to become more difficult as over 91% of B2B marketers claim they already use content marketing. Although that number is high, many can better optimise their existing content.

 

Here, we’ll cover basic SEO tactics you can deploy to make your content easier to be found by search engines.

Keywords

The first step for writing online content is choosing the right keywords to target. Conducting keyword research is an important optimisation process. First identify a group of selective keywords that are semantically related, i.e., share similar interest to your personas. By choosing a semantic group of keywords to target, you broaden your reach by ranking for multiple keywords instead of just one main keyword as search engines are getting cleverer at determining what keywords are related.

 

To help explain semantic keywords, a keyword glossary would include the following terms for “marketing book reviews:”

  • Marketing book comparison
  • Marketing strategy book
  • Reviews for marketing books
  • Best marketing book
  • Marketing books to read

Your semantic keyword group should contain some long-tail keywords that are less competitive. Long-tail keywords are much easier to rank for and brings most of your organic search traffic.

 

Another advantage of using a semantic group of keywords is the ability to sprinkle keywords naturally throughout your content. You will build relevance for the overall topic by doing this.

Content Marketing Structure

When creating your content, ensure you plan the structure. Content should be presented in a way that provides a solution for the issue your personas are searching for - answering a question, finding a product or anything else. Writing good content that solves a problem gains audience interest and potential visibility via social shares and links. Your engagement rate will be better, which sends positive signals to search engines.

 

Creating structure for your content is challenging. To create structure, fashion an outline of how you want the content to be viewed, with the most important information near the top of the page.

 

If your post gets long, use anchor links to push people to the content. Use heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) to break content up to allow users to skim and scan the content. Avoid using long blocks of content, and if content is becoming long, visually break it up by:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Testimonials
  • Bulleted list

Creating a fluid structure for your content will help improve your audience engagement metrics by making the user experience friendly.

 

The structure of the content should be considered at the beginning of the optimisation process.

Build a Map to your Content

After writing optimised content, the next step is to build backlinks to it. Backlinks help people and search engines crawl and find your content more efficiently. They can be related to three areas - internal, external, and social links.

 

Building backlinks can be like a map. For example, you have the most amazing beach and you would like to charge admission. You’ve put in a lot of work to make your beach the best in the area and you know people would love to visit. The first problem is that no one knows how to find it. So, you build paths to make it easier for people to get to the beach (internal links). Next you place signs near your beach for local visibility (social shares). Now people start coming to your beach and they love it so much they go and tell their friends (external links). Soon, your beach is filled with happy and paying customers.

 

The moral of this scenario is to optimise your content by building links to your content. Links are still important to receive organic and overall traffic. The easiest way to get some links to your asset is to build internal links strategically with correct anchor text. Use keyword variations and long-tail keywords as your anchor text to not over optimise the content, which sends better relevance signals to the search engines.

Share your post on social media with a promotion plan to gain more visibility via referrals. Increasing social shares for your content sends more positive signals to search engines about how popular it is.

 

Lastly, focus of earning backlinks from credible sources on other websites. Reach out to influencers that might be interested in your content, so they can either share socially, or even better, on their website. Also, reach out to websites that are linking to the pages that are ranking for the keyword topic to see if they will link to your content. Hopefully, your amazing piece of content goes viral, which helps earn backlinks naturally and easily.

Writing more Optimised Content

This can be challenging. We can optimise content, so our personas can find it easily over our competitors. Optimised content will lead to more organic traffic and ultimately potentially higher conversions/ROI. We don’t need more content in general, but we need more optimised content that helps solve the audience’s problem.

 

For more on up to date SEO follow this link>>>

 

new website seo checklist

Tags: small business seo, content marketing, small business seo marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, seo for b2b business, b2b seo programme, website seo

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>>>

 

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

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

Does that “Affordable SEO Package” make Sense for Your Business?

Posted by frank harris on 16/03/18 10:56

SEO JUly 17A couple weeks back, a small business owner was looking for guidance on how to decide on SEO services, found me via social media and contacted me.

 

His company was redesigning their 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 an investment (just over £300/month) without more information.

 

“I am a small business in the mist of redesigning our website," he said "I have not had time to research SEO to be comfortable. Can I wait to start a SEO contract when the site is done, or do I need to rebuild the site with the SEO provider as a partner, or can I hire an independent after the rebuild and have as good performance from someone who did not build the website?"

 

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

 

First: as a fellow business owner, besides being a digital marketing consultant, 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 “£300+ per month” gets his 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. keyword research, content development, blogging, social media promotion and relevant link building), and not just on-site 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 Package

I only had a brief window of opportunity to reply to the question above by email, but with more time and thought, here are some additional points to consider in the evaluation process, regardless of the vendor in question.

  1. Why do you need SEO in the first place?

It’s obvious to me but running a digital marketing consultancy, I certainly have bias. You want to make sure that 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 your SEO programme expectation.

  1. How does the SEO vendor explain their process?

While it might not be expected for an SEO vendor to reveal their entire list of tactics at the start, 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.

  1. What benchmarks does the SEO vendor recommend for measuring performance?

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

  1. Does the SEO vendor have demonstrable, related client achievements?

Individual keyword performance is only a small 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 your company and its business model for success? Are they even asking? (Red alert if they are not of course)

  1. Finally, what are their contract terms?

Beyond SEO and 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 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 company 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 search ranking and therefor traffic generated, but what types of social media posts create that influence.

 

Also, you see from my reply that only one facet of digital marketing is covered by the fee but to really succeed in getting good, warm leads you need the whole deal.

 

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.

 

For my full answer into what is digital marketing follow the link:

 

lead generation

Tags: small business seo marketing, organic search engine optimisation, b2b seo, seo package

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 to Approach Small Business Marketing SEO Research and Planning

Posted by frank harris on 08/03/16 16:00

SEO-marketing-agency.jpgSEO is one of those marketing disciplines that require foresight, plenty of planning, a methodical approach and maybe just a bit of marketing intuition.

 

I've plundered a SEO best practice guide for some tips on how to approach SEO planning and research as your start on the road to lead generation in small business marketing.

Don’t underestimate the task

A good SEO strategy is like building a business to last. More often than not it will involve considerable time and resources. 

Understand your own site performance, but also the competition and the market

Any plan involves measurement of improvement so first make an audit of performance before you begin along with the performance of competitors and the state of the market.

 

There's no point in you targeting a keyword phrase that a competitor has a stranglehold on if there's an equally important phrase that is up for grabs.

 

Similarly, market analysis allows you to see how a sector maps to search. Here’s an example - plumbing. Even with contextual search on the rise, most plumbers are better targeting the phrase 'plumber London' than simply 'plumber' (providing the plumber works in London).

 

Search_REsults_in_small_business_marketing.png

 

Understanding the market means understanding the customer - what locations are they in and the devices they’re using? 

Plan for your proposition not ranking

Every company is affected in different ways by different ranking factors and, you as a marketer might not be able to affect every variable. 

 

Some of you involved in small business marketing might be working with restrictions on your ability to change web architecture, such as building landing pages. Others might be working for a brand that doesn't have a well-developed social media presence. These factors will affect strategy. 

Learn from PPC

SEO and PPC are complementary. Although concentrating efforts in both areas tends not to be harmful, it makes sense to use paid search to fill gaps, buying phrases for which you might not be ranking organically for yet. You must be careful though to ensure each click is useful for the customer.

 

PPC also allows for copy testing on a small scale, potentially informing wider content efforts.

Plan for ROI

Is an increase in ROI the aim, or is this a longer term customer acquisition campaign?

 

Break down ROI by location, device, and keyphrases. This is important for setting priorities.

 

Setting expectations for ROI also includes a knowledge of timeframes involved. When will the company start to see acquisition? 

Prioritise the basics

If your title tags needs sorting out, start with those before going on to bigger strategic fish.

 

It's also clear that working upwards from the long tail keyphrases is going to bear more fruit that initially planning that one highly competitive phrase. 

 

As an example, target 'brown Oxford shoes for men', then 'brown shoes for men', then 'brown shoes' and finally 'shoes'

Get other teams involved

SEO is involves marketing, tech and your company's content creators. In understanding the resources available to you, ensure you understand who might be able to help with keyword research, content creation and campaign measurement.

Be agile and opportunistic with keyphrase research

Remember that opportunities come and go in search. The results page can change with:  

  • real world events
  • social activity 
  • changes in the way we use the web, such as new devices
  • changes in reach as new territories come online
  • changes in the way search engines present information 

You must keep abreast of these changes.

What is the audience trying to do?

This is probably the most important point. Don’t lose track of the customer journey and what they are trying to achieve.

 

The journey from search phrase to appropriate landing page and product/service must be one that makes sense. Customers may well be searching around a problem they have encountered, rather than for your product or service specifically.

 

Occupying the mind of the customer will help with keyphrase research and optimising the customer journey.

Understand the state of your site

This is part of prioritisation and understanding the customer journey.

 

Is your small business marketing website in good shape? Do you have a content strategy in place? Is your SEO planning part of a multichannel approach? 

Think laterally about link building

Don't just target high authority sites in your sector. Where else might your information me valued?

Benchmark content

Once you've started producing content to target keyphrases, make sure you track what does well. This can take the form of social mentions, comments on site, new visits, conversion rate, bounce rate etc.

 

Knowing what's performing well is vital for maintaining momentum. SEO is stage 1 of the lead generation journey to know more about how to get leads for your business get the FREE eBook from the link below:-

 

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Tags: SEO marketing agency, small business seo marketing

Top Social Media Marketing Tactics for SEO

Posted by frank harris on 20/08/14 08:05

social media marketing in SEOWhen it comes down to social’s impact on SEO services, it all comes down to three things: trust, credibility and quality.

As Google continues to penalise links, and search marketers shift away from traditional link building tactics, social is fast becoming the trustworthy and credible way to obtain quality links. More so, it’s a fantastic way to build business brands.

Finding your Influencers

“Influencer marketing is the process of finding and tapping into people with high credibility and visibility in your niche.” Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept overall, but it’s gained a lot of traction over the past couple years with word-of-mouth and social media marketing playing much larger roles in campaigns.

Influencers can be people, brands or personalities, and it’s our job as marketers to identify who and where those influencers are relative to our business.

How do you find those influencers?

Here are a few of the tools there to help you:

  • Facebook

  • Alltop

  • Klout

  • Followerwonk

  • GPlusData

  • CircleCount

  • LinkedIn

By simply searching on a particular keyword, you can find relevant influencers across the major social networks. Alltop can help you find blogs (and in turn bloggers), Followerwonk will show you influencers on Twitter, and GPlusData will give you information on Google+ users, which can then be plugged into CircleCount to show you how many circles a person is in and all their comments. Each of these tools can offer insights into the “who” and “where,” while the information about the person can help you actually build a real relationship.

With Facebook's Graph Search now available to all users you can now identify not just influencers, but potential customers.  So, what is the real key to influencer marketing?

Well you don’t control the influencers. Use the information you find to give influencers what they want, but remember, it’s up to them what they want to do with it.

There’s more to Google+ then meets the Eye

Whether you love it or hate it, Google+ matters because:-

  • Google+ profiles have page rank

  • Links to your Google+ profile build authority and influence

  • Google+ establishes trust

People think that Google+ is there for Author Rank, but Google’s official position is that this does not officially exist yet. Think the more +1s you have or circles you’re in help your profile? Not according to the data. Similar to the way links impact websites, it seems that who has you in a circle matters more than how many people have you in circles.

Google is treating Google+ profiles like a web page. Profiles have PageRank, which can be passed to other sites, and the more links you have to your Google+ profile, the better the profile performs. It has been shown that profiles that use authorship regularly generally have one full degree PageRank higher than those who aren’t using authorship.

What does this mean for search marketers?

Google+ offers a great way for people and brands to build authority and have an impact on search results. Profiles and pages are showing up in SERPs more and more, and these profiles have influence.

Make sure to build links to your page through authorship, use +1 buttons on your content, and start establishing connections with influencers in your space.

Do it for the Data

One of the best things that can come from social media marketing is the data you get about customers and the people interacting with your business. However, none of the data matters unless it's tied to a goal.

In social media marketing services, it’s extremely important to understand not only what metrics mean, but also how to use those metrics to improve campaigns and content.

Look at your positive data to see what is working. Did a particular image get lots of likes or shares? Use that image in an upcoming blog post. Look at what type of content your fans like to consume and give them more of the same.

In addition, Facebook offers great targeting capabilities. Have something you want to try out? Target one specific area or demographic to see how it performs. If it performs well, roll it out to everyone else.

Facebook provides a lot of data, but like any marketing related data, it’s important to correlate that data to what it is you’re doing. And don’t forget to track everything.

When you launch an B2B email marketing campaign, have a tracking code in the email. The same thing should apply to social media marketing efforts.

While it may take time, add tracking codes to everything you promote through social media. Because if you can’t track it, you can’t measure it, and you can’t report on it.

Social & Search working together

Social is playing a bigger part in search results because it offers fresh content, personalisation and it’s real information from real people - all things the search engines want to provide.

For internet marketing consultants and marketers, this means integrating your tactics and creating cohesive strategies across your search, social media and paid campaigns.

For more insight into SEO in B2B online marketing just click the button below:-

Understanding SEO in  B2B Online Marketing

Tags: internet marketing consultant, b2b website marketing, social media marketing services, email marketing, small business seo marketing

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