Category: search engine optimization

05- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
524 Views

SEO Promotion Tricks to Get You on Top – business.com

If you are familiar with basics of SEO marketing but would like to do it more effectively, this brief guide will get you up to speed.

Search engine marketing is a powerful promotional method that can have a dramatic impact on sales if executed properly.

Here are a few expert tips that could help you take advantage of this channel to build long-term revenues.

The most successful digital promotion discipline is known as search engine optimization (SEO) and it relies on the unique nature of online searches to push the most adaptable brands to prominence without a huge investment.

However, not everyone can achieve the same kind of results with it, as some companies easily claim the top spot on the search results page while others struggle to attract any kind of traffic to their websites.

If you are familiar with basic premises of SEO marketing but would like to do it more effectively, this brief guide will get you up to speed and allow you to start thinking about practical applications:

Related Article: Search In the New Year: Understand the Scope of Search Engine Optimization in 2016

1. Localize Your Keywords

Keywords are phrases used to direct online searches, for example, a person from London looking to buy office supplies would probably type “office supplies London” into Google. It is impossible (and undesirable) to optimize your site for every word in the dictionary, so choosing five to 10 most appropriate phrases that best describe your business is mandatory.

If you make “office supplies” your primary keyword, you’ll be competing with companies from around the world, so it makes sense to narrow the field by including a geographic location. In the example, we used as an illustration, the company would benefit from limiting its attention to searches originating from London, or perhaps even to a particular part of the town (i.e. Croydon).

2. Never Underestimate the Power of Links

Google and other search engines constantly upgrade their algorithms to display the most relevant results in recent editions external links have been given a lot of weight. To put it simply, if other, well-respected sites are providing links towards your pages, search engines will take it as a sign that your company is legitimate and its offering is well matched to the current search terms.

It may be difficult for a startup to build a strong inbound link structure, but there are various methods to do this, including blog writing and social media activity. Over time, accumulated links and their corresponding referencing power will push you all the way to the top if you are persistently prioritizing this aspect of your marketing.

Related Article: SEO Friendly vs. SEO Strategy: Why They Both Matter to Business

3. Use Rich Media Content to Boost Your Image

Text is the cheapest category of content it’s fairly easy to populate your site with descriptions of your products and biographies of the founders. However, your brand would be better served if the site also included multimedia content (photos, videos, interactive elements) alongside the text. There are two main reasons for this you will get an SEO boost from rich media elements, but their presence will also impress the visitors following the link to your homepage.

A visitor that encounters a well-made video right after landing on your site is more likely to stay and browse around, giving you additional opportunities to make the conversion. Of course, producing high-quality videos or infographics requires professional skills, so you will need a solid production budget if you want the best results.

4. Mobile Optimization Is Paramount

Your website needs to perform well on any screen size and with any browser so that different users have the same level of functionality. That principle is even more important in the age of mobile devices operated by touchscreens since these systems generally demand a specific layout and less demanding graphics.

Globally, there are more than 1.2 billion users who regularly access the web from their mobile devices, so this is not a segment of the market that you can afford to alienate. You can also think about including some features that are custom-built for mobile access, such as interactive maps based on geolocation or voice search function.

Related Article: How One Utah Moving Company Conquered Local SEO—and You Can, Too

5. Use SEO to Strengthen Your Brand

Most companies rely on SEO exclusively to boost their sales volume, missing the chance to fortify their brand positions at the same time. Search engine optimization will bring potential customers to your doorstep, but you still have to endear them to your brand through various means on your disposal, from charging fair prices to various limited time promotions and loyalty programs.

According to Ranked One, a top-tier Internet marketing agency, we are just scratching the surface when it comes to the use of SEO for branding and we could see a broad array of creative new strategies in the coming years. Social media platforms are extremely important in this sense, as they give you a chance to interact with your customers directly and connect your brand to a broad range of ongoing events from the real world.

Source: SEO Promotion Tricks to Get You on Top – business.com

05- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
123 Views

3 Paid Marketing Secrets that Will Double Your Brand’s Reach Overnight – Forbes

If they find your brand, it is because they want to, not because they were lead there by advertising or flashy marketing tactics.

As a content marketer, I am a huge fan of letting new customers find your company naturally.

It’s basically “permission marketing.”

If they find your brand, it is because they want to, not because they were lead there by advertising or flashy marketing tactics.

But there is a problem.

The competition has risen so much in recent years that the odds of you being heard through the noise without some sort of paid marketing are slim to none.

I know that outbound marketing is thought of as a four letter word.

But here’s the thing.

Most consumers do not hate outbound marketing.

They hate irrelevant and pushy outbound marketing.

So how can you create paid marketing campaigns that engage potential customers and generate positive feedback?

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Let me show you.

1. Improve Your Ads Quality Score

It doesn’t matter how amazing your landing page is, how well optimized your home is, or how kickass your product it.

If users are ignoring your advertisements, all of that effort is in vain.

You have to create engaging and high quality ads if you hope to compete in the crowded online business world.

So how do you measure and improve the quality of your ads?

By analyzing the quality/relevance score.

This is a score that is available within most advertising platforms, but today, I will focus on Google GOOGL +1.20%, Twitter TWTR +0.72%, and Facebook FB +0.59%.

Google Adwords

There are five major ways that Google determines the quality and relevance of your ad.

You need to understand and master all of them.

The quality of your ad will determine how much you pay per click, your maximum bid, and your rank in auctions.

Do you see why this could be important?

I hope so.

Anyways, here are the five things that Google uses to determine your quality score.

  • The past performance of your account
  • Relevance of your keywords based off of the advertisement
  • The relevance of your ad’s copy
  • The click through rate
  • The quality of your landing page.

Optimizing all 5 of these metrics is extremely important if you want to stand any chance at succeeding with Google Adwords.

So do your research and improve that quality score!

Facebook

The way that Facebook ranks ads is a little bit different from Google.

Instead of focusing on the quality and relevance of your ads, Facebook predominantly cares about relevance.

What this means is that you can have a mediocre ad perfectly targeting a selected demographic and Facebook will love you for it.

If you want to maximize your Facebook relevance score, you first have to understand whoyou are marketing to and then build your ads accordingly.

Twitter

Have you ever heard that Jack Johnson song “3 R’s”?

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Well, with Twitter ads, they determine your quality score based off of another 3 R’s.

Except this time, they are resonance, relevance, and recency.

These three metrics can be summed up quite easily.

Resonance: Is your audience resonating with your content? Are they retweeting and sharing on a regular basis?

Relevance: Does your audience care about your content?

Recency: Is your content new?

If you can master those three R’s, then you can master Twitter ads.

2. Utilize the Power of Emotion in Your Advertising

Most ads suck.

Like they really suck.

Don’t let this be you.

If you want to have any hope of standing out in the overcrowded marketing of social media and PPC advertising then you have to learn how to create great ads.

The key to a great ad is to spark emotion within your audience. The two emotions that generate the most conversions among advertisements are awe and laughter.

If you can create a sense of awe among viewers or make them fall out of their chair laughing then conversions are all but guaranteed.

While the exact methods for doing this will vary based off of your target market, a good place to get started is by watching Super Bowl Ads from years past.

Analyze the ads that evoke emotion — ads that made you laugh and the ads that made you sit back in awe.

Take note of how the ads accomplished this and then learn to replicate the effects in your own campaigns.

3. Master Demographic Targeting

One of the most important things that you can do when you are trying to create successful PPC advertising campaigns is to target the right demographic.

If you are not targeting your ideal audience than you are wasting precious time, money, and ad impressions.

Nearly every advertising platform allows you to specifically select your target demographic for your ad.

You want to make sure that you are as specific as possible.

Not only will a well targeted ad improve your overall ad quality/relevance score, but it will lead to more conversions because you are targeting people who actually want to buy.

Conclusion

The world of paid advertising is not an easy one.

There is a steep learning curve and you will probably lose money before you make it. But in the modern market, it is an absolute necessity.

Equipped with these three tips, you are off to a good start.

So do your research, get in the trenches, and start mastering paid ads now so that you can sit back and enjoy the rewards later.

What is your best paid-marketing secret?

Source: 3 Paid Marketing Secrets that Will Double Your Brand’s Reach Overnight – Forbes

03- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
341 Views

7 e-commerce SEO trends we’re seeing in 2016

Few types of online business can benefit from SEO more than e-commerce websites that allow for direct consumer transactions. Not only can you secure more web traffic (and a larger stream of revenue), you can also optimize specific product pages to funnel traffic to your most profitable or popular pages.

But SEO (and e-commerce in general) is always evolving. New technologies, new insights and new best practices emerge on a regular basis, and the best e-commerce webmasters are jumping on these changes to stay ahead of the competition.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven important SEO trends in the e-commerce industry you should be paying attention to:

1. Out-of-the-box SEO is better than ever

SEO technology is developing just as quickly as the search engines that have inspired them. What do I mean by “SEO technology”? I mean the third-party apps, widgets and tools webmasters can use to optimize their sites and improve results — with minimal manual input required.

In fact, some “out of the box” solutions have emerged in the template web design industry, enabling webmasters to ensure the on-site optimization of their sites in just a few steps upon launch. WordPress plugins have also been around for a while that handle a good amount of on-site SEO automatically, such as Yoast SEO.

These products and developments are tempting, and in fact useful, but currently, there’s no solution that can automatically perform every on-site function. You’ll still need to customize things like your title tags, navigation, rich snippets and so on, if you want to see the best possible results.

2. Long-form content is crucial

Until recently, product pages on e-commerce sites were places for short-form content: a title, a brief description, a handful of photos and a few customer reviews. However, user demand and search engine favoritism have shifted toward long-form content in almost every niche.

Longer-form content provides more detail, more long-tail and conversational phrases (which lend themselves to more relevant search queries) and more market differentiation from the increased competition that has arisen in recent years.

I strongly encourage you to develop more long-form content on your company blog, describing your products and offering insights on your company, provided your topics support that length without unnecessary fluff.

3. Sharability is key

Social media has been popular for many years, but it’s still somehow escalating in importance. In a recent survey I conducted of 357 online marketers, What Works in Online Marketing, 52 percent of respondents said they are currently seeing a positive ROI from social media marketing, while 65 percent believe it will become even more important over the course of the next five years. Most notably, 96 percent of respondents said they planned to increase their budgets or keep them the same over the next year.

More users are signing up for high-popularity standbys like Facebook, and newer, cutting-edge platforms like Instagram and SnapChat are shaping up to be major hits for younger generations.

One of the best ways to generate more visibility and more primary and secondary ranking signals (like inbound links and social signals, respectively) is to encourage more social sharing throughout the shopping and checkout process.

Have your users share your products. Have them share reviews. Have them share when they check out or when their products arrive. Keep your audience engaged with social opportunities throughout your site, and your visibility across search engines and social media channels will thrive.

4. Video content is outperforming pretty much every other kind of content

As mobile devices, WiFi availability and video sharing capabilities become more advanced and prominent, users are demanding more video content. Video content can show up as rich media in search results (if it’s hosted on YouTube) and has more potential for virality than any other type of content.

In fact, if you aren’t using video content on your product pages and in your company blog, you’re already behind the times. Video content is only going to become more popular, so get moving.

5. Mobile optimization is now absolutely critical

The basics of mobile optimization were already solidified by Google’s Mobilegeddon update, but merely meeting Google’s thresholds for mobile optimization is no longer enough to stand out in the search world.

Mobile optimization is about offering the best possible content and functionality experience to mobile users, who grow in numbers compared to desktop users by the day.

Mobile optimization is also starting to include app optimization, which Google is favoring heavily with developments like app streaming — and one day soon, e-commerce platforms may need to develop their own mobile apps just to survive in terms of visibility.

6. Voice search and digital assistants are gaining popularity and usage

Just a few years ago, digital assistants seemed like useless gimmicks that failed to recognize voices accurately and provided less-than-stellar results even when they did. Now, more people are relying on voice search, and every major tech company seems to have their own digital assistant capable of extraordinary feats, including Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Now.

Savvy e-commerce marketers are beginning to capitalize on this trend, offering more colloquial phrasing, more optimization for long-tail phrases and more “rich answers” that digital assistants can provide directly.

7. Local results are becoming more prominent

Local SEO has undergone a handful of overhauls in the past few years, and it’s likely that new technologies (like wearable tech) will increase the importance of local results even further.

E-commerce companies often don’t think about a local strategy, since they operate on a national level and therefore want to target a larger national audience. However, pursuing a local strategy in addition can help e-commerce companies differentiate themselves from the competition and target a smaller, possibly more relevant niche that their competitors are deliberately trying to avoid.

There may be a clustering effect as more e-commerce companies begin to realize the benefits here, which is good motivation to get involved as early as possible.

Final thoughts

Keep an eye on these seven trends to ensure that your campaign remains relevant and visible in the modern era. Depending on your goals and how heavy a role SEO plays in your overall business growth, the suggestions above should take a high priority in your marketing spend.

That being said, these certainly aren’t the only trends I anticipate developing for e-commerce, and it’s hard to predict exactly what’s around the corner — so keep your campaign flexible, and always be on the lookout for the next breakthrough development.

For those managing search engine optimization for e-commerce websites, contributor Jayson DeMers has some advice for what to focus on to stay ahead of the competition.

Source: 7 e-commerce SEO trends we’re seeing in 2016

24- May2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
339 Views

Companies Will Spend $65 Billion on SEO in 2016, Much of it Will Be Wasted

Entrepreneur magazine contributor, Mike Templeman, shares his thoughts on the SEO snake oil being solicited by top agencies and advertisers alike.  SEO takes time and like Mike references, there is no “overnight” fix or silver bullet that can take you to the top.

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Don’t get burned by a snake oil salesperson when it comes to your company’s SEO needs.Do you know what snake oil is? It’s a term used to describe any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. If you read this Wikipedia article on the topic, you’ll see that real oil from snakes used to be prescribed as a cure for everything from small cuts on up to arthritis and skin diseases.

And a recent study came out touting that companies will be spending $65 Billion on SEO this year.

Now, as the title to this article would imply, I believe that the SEO industry, and the digital marketing industry in general is full of snake oil salespeople. Individuals who knowingly are selling a product that either will not work for the buyer or that they know is of inferior quality.

Let me explain. I run a marketing agency. I have to hear dozens of horror stories every week about wasted budgets, sites damaged beyond repair, digital campaigns that produce zero results and everything else business owners and marketers are terrified of. These stories are the grownup versions of the campfire stories we told each other as children. Except now, they end in the loss of millions of dollars. Terrifying, I know.

Now, I mentioned that I run an agency, as such you’d think that we’d have a pretty good grasp on marketing. But you wouldn’t guess that if you looked at my spam folder. I receive hundreds, yes hundreds of unsolicited emails every day from marketers promising to take my brand to the #1 spot in Google (total lie). Or to bring me thousands of visitors in a matter of weeks (liar liar pants on fire). They tell me that my site is breaking numerous rules set forth by the search engines and if I don’t fix them my company will die a fiery death (oh really?).

Related: Here’s What Really Matters for SEO in 2016

These are the Exhibit A’s in the snake oil industry of digital marketing and SEO.

To see the Exhibit B’s you’ll need to reach out to an agency of your choice and ask to speak with their sales team. Odds are you’ll end up talking with someone that will guarantee that your wildest dreams will be fulfilled by focusing on SEO. Or maybe they’re a social media agency. If that’s the case, their silver bullet will undoubtedly be social media. Either way, they’ve got the tonic that will cure your website’s disease. And if you act now, you’ll be guaranteed results!

Look, as someone who has worked in SEO and every other digital medium for the last decade or so, I can tell you that there are no silver bullets and that nothing is guaranteed. I also know that SEO doesn’t work for some companies. Just like PPC isn’t for everyone, nor is social media. After all, billboards and commercials don’t work for every industry, so why would digital marketing be any different?

But let’s examine what makes a lot of SEO services snake oil and give you the information you’ll need to protect yourself.

Why is it snake oil?
Snake oil originated in the medical industry. It was used as a cure for ailments. It was easy for salespeople to pull the wool over they’re buyers’ eyes because back in the day, no one really knew what the heck was going on with their bodies. Medical information wasn’t as readily available. And since medical conditions are by nature quite scary, the sufferers were ready to believe anything that was thrown their way.

Well, guess what? The Internet is the new medical industry when it comes to snake oil. You see, the Internet is still not that old. It’s really only become prolific over the last 20 years or so. With that being the case, most people don’t understand the ins and outs of it. Yes, like a medical condition, they can tell when something is wrong. But they’re not really quite sure what the cause of the issue is. Enter the snake oil salespeople.

Whenever there are uninformed customers, there will always be predatory groups looking to take advantage of that situation. And with a 65 Billion dollar industry up for grabs, the streets are running wet with snake oil right now.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Consultant

What I’ve seen.
While some snake oils can be rather harmless, when it comes to your digital marketing snake oil is anything but. For instance, I wrote an article a few years back about a large company that was removed from the Google search results due to their digital marketing activities. They had some sloppy marketing being done and it ended up making them disappear from the search results. Harmless, right? Wrong. You see, this company relied heavily on their search results for new leads to their call center. This call center was staffed by dozens of people. These people had families, mortgages, and relied on that income.

Well, when the phones just stop ringing one morning, it’s going to be very hard for a company to keep employing an entire sales floor. And while the company did their best to avoid the inevitable, they eventually had to face the facts and they ended up laying off the entire department.

So this one company that unfortunately trusted a snake oil salesperson, ended up having to lay off almost 50 people at a time when the economy wasn’t doing so well. I’m sure there was a lot of financial pain felt by these families.

So, yes, snake oil SEO can be extremely dangerous in today’s digital economy.

How do business owners avoid getting burned?
This is probably the most important part of this article. As I mentioned earlier, the reason these groups are able to prey on consumers is because of the lack of information. To this end, you need to gird yourself with knowledge. Do research on the topic you’ll be discussing with your potential agency partners. Have talking points and specific questions that you’d like answered. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid the bottom-of-the-barrel snake oil salespeople that can’t even face mild scrutiny.

Related: The Top 4 Reasons SEO Is Dead

Once you’ve weeded those ones out, you’ll want to really do your research on the agencies that have made the first cut. Check the background of the founders, look for third party reviews. Ask them for case studies, testimonials, and references. Do not look at a slick sales deck and assume that because they can put together a decent PowerPoint that they can provide you with proper marketing services. I’ve seen hundreds of dreams crushed on the expectations set by a nice sales presentation. Any group you don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with should be cut after this.

Now that you’ve made it to your third round of choices, you’ll want to watch what they produce for you very closely. Don’t accept an agency that does not give you full visibility into what they’re doing. I can’t tell you how often I see shoddy work being done, and the business owner would have been able to identify that work as being shoddy, but because they weren’t aware it was being done, they had no way of stopping it.

Because of this you’ll want to make sure that the group you’re working with is willing to show you everything they’re doing and will actually take the time to explain and train you on what they’re doing. After all, an informed client is the best kind of client.

And if you follow these steps, you’ll be assured that you’ve probably weeded out all of the snake oil salespeople and you’ll be working with a reputable agency. Now, this doesn’t guarantee that you will get great results. As I mentioned above, sometimes SEO isn’t a solution for all industries and sometimes marketing campaigns don’t result in massive successes. But those are the chances you should be willing to take. If you know you’re working with the right group that does things the right way, then you’re in it together. And the engagement should feel like a partnership, rather then a vendor relationship.

So, as you’re out there trying to spend your marketing dollars wisely, watch for those shady characters that are touting the magical properties of their services. Odds are, there’s a lot of snake oil in their pitch.

Source: Companies Will Spend $65 Billion on SEO in 2016, Much of it Will Be Wasted