Why The Content For Your Blog Must Be Quality And Relevant

At one time, getting as many links to your site as you could was the goal for many people doing SEO. These days however, this is not the way at all and you will find yourself in deep trouble if you do this. Linking is still important though and should not be dismissed or forgotten about but it must be done in a natural way and only with sites that are relevant to your own niche. This is where using your content to create valuable links can really boost the levels of target traffic.

Blogging can be a great way of achieving this and using your blog to promote your website is one way of doing this. Of course, it is easier said than done, most business people are busy and don’t have time to regularly ‘feed’ their blog with content that is unique and of a high standard. There is no point in churning out ‘stuff’, that simply won’t do, it won’t help you and in fact, could do a lot of damage. If you can spend a couple of hours once or twice a week to create a piece for your blog, you will be doing yourself a great favour.

If you can write posts of around 800 words, that are in depth and provide the reader with the useful information that they are looking for, you will gain a lot of followers and your posts will be shared on social media which will further boost your blog. Try to vary the subject of your content but still keep it relevant to your niche, going off the reservation isn’t a good idea when you are using your blog for SEO purposes. Remember those pesky Google algorithms don’t have a sense of humour and will look upon random subjects as irrelevant which will result in your blog tumbling down the rankings.

You can make use of links within your blog posts, linking to other posts that you have written that are on other sites, particularly if those sites are considered ‘authority’ by the search engines, can be very valuable. Making use of occasional links to other articles that are relevant to your piece and that you have enjoyed reading is also useful. Having a diverse range of links is important, it is a natural thing to do. The correct use of anchor text and keywords should be prioritised so that you get the most from these links.

There is no one SEO tactic that works by itself, you need to implement a wide ranging strategy, each piece plays its part and contributes to the overall success of the strategy. Your blog can only thrive if you have lots of visitors who enjoy what you write and will share the link on their social media platforms. However, your blog site should be one facet of your overall online marketing strategy, it should not be the only one. There are many different factors to be taken into consideration when putting together an SEO plan and this is where engaging an expert to help you will pay dividends.

 

The terms “content marketing” and “link building” describe discrete marketing activities with distinct scope, strategies, and purposes. They are not the same thing. But that does not mean you cannot employ both in the same way that you might use email and content marketing together or use display advertising and content marketing together.

A pair of definitions will help make it clear how link building and content marketing differ.

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content, like articles or videos, with the purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. When done well, content marketing is a customer-centric approach to growth and profit. It seeks to serve, help, inform, and entertain. At its core is reciprocity.

In contrast, link building is a form of search engine optimization aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of inbound links to a specific web page in an effort to improve that page’s ranking position on a search engine results’ page.

Related Activities

In spite of their differences, tactically there are similar or related activities within each.

Both a content marketing campaign and a link-building campaign might have you write an article. Both might have you post content on social media, and both a content marketing campaign and a link building campaign might have you look at customer behavior.

The difference is in the purpose, the goal, and the relationship. If you will forgive the somewhat crass analogy, the difference between content marketing and link building is something like the difference between kissing your sister or brother and kissing your husband or wife. At a tactical level, both acts are kissing, but very few folks would say that kissing your sister is exactly the same thing as kissing your wife.

When to Use Link Building

A business’s goals, capabilities, and position in the marketplace will impact how it views the interaction or relationship between these two marketing activities. How a company uses these approaches depends on what that company wishes to accomplish.

Link building, to oversimplify, is primarily interested in introductions. As a marketing tool, link building’s purpose is to influence search engine algorithms. It seeks to convince search engines that a particular page is important in the context of a relevant search. SEO practitioners know that inbound links are used in some way as a measure of page popularity or value. So encouraging a large number of good quality links will impact how well a page ranks.

Link-building tactics include the following.

  • Developing compelling and useful content.
  • Discovering directories that offer follow links.
  • Using press releases and pitches to encourage articles.
  • Guest blogging or submitting articles for publication.
  • Building relationships with bloggers and website owners.
  • Adding posts to social networks that offer follow links.
  • Contributing to forums and content communities.
  • Newsjacking — injecting your own ideas into breaking issues — in social media.
  • Developing microsites and landing pages.
  • Research to learn which words and phrases are used on search engines.

The thought is that if a web page can rank well on a search engine results page, it is likely to get a greater number of clicks, thereby introducing a relatively greater number of potential customers to your business.

It is this focus on new customer introductions that makes link building specifically and SEO more generally popular with new businesses or businesses that by nature have almost no opportunity for repeat sales. These companies need fresh customers.

When to Use Content Marketing

Content marketing focuses on lasting relationships. Remember the triple purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Content marketing often requires research to identify needs and wants of those prospects and customers.  Then, a marketer can create content to:

  • Solve problems and help people make better decisions;
  • Entertain;.
  • Introduce people or build communities;
  • Make others money;
  • Makes other people successful.

Focusing on things that are fundamentally useful, content marketing elevates a company’s reputation, making its website a place consumers return to. Businesses that sell relatively complicated products or that have the opportunity to sell to a customer repeatedly will often favor content marketing, since it tends to keep customers coming back.

Read more: http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/123658-How-Link-building-for-SEO-Fits-with-Content-Marketing

 

 

Costly SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid

SEO can be a bit bewildering for anyone who is not an expert in this field. There are so many pitfalls that need to be avoided, the problem being that mistakes can be very costly indeed, worst case scenario is that your website is put in penalty by the search engines and will not be indexed. So, how do you go about providing your site with good quality SEO whilst avoiding the most common errors? The first thing to do, is to recognise what these mistakes are and not make them! Sounds easy doesn’t it, read on to find out more.

Duplicate content is a site killer, the easy solution is DON’T do it, even on ecommerce sites, do not have duplicate content anywhere on your site. It could take you a considerable amount of time to provide unique content particularly if you do have an ecommerce site selling items that are perhaps the same but in different sizes or colours, there are ways around this though, concise descriptions written in different ways works very well. For example, if you are selling pet accessories and you have a section for dog collars and leads, you could have ‘brand, blue and red collar and lead set in different sizes’, this could be changed to ‘sets, collar and lead, made by brand, red and blue, all sizes available’. Doing this provides unique content for your ecommerce site. For an information website, try to ensure that you have suitable content for each page so that every page on the site is different but still provides relevant information that is pertinent to the specific page, so on your ‘about us’ page, you would not have content that is talking about anything other than what your business is about.

Meta tags. This is an area that does scare the uninitiated, it can seem a bit technical and complicated however, it is something that is vital to your site. By formatting the meta descriptions and title tags, you can actually give your site a huge boost in the organic listings by ensuring your title tags and meta descriptions contain niche keywords for your business. They should reflect what is contained on each page so that visitors are taken to the right place. The purpose of meta tags is to provide the search engines with the information they need in order to index your website, so you can see why they are so important.

404 errors need swift action because they indicate that there is a problem with your site. They tend to show up when old pages are removed or replaced and still have links pointing to them. The links you create need to take visitors to active pages on your site so you need to ensure that when you do create new pages that the links point to the new page or to another live page on your site. There are lots of tools to help you with this, Google Webmaster Tools is a free one that will highlight any pages which are no longer there so that you can fix issues before they become a problem. If your site has lots of 404 errors, your site is very likely to slide down the rankings because the search engines will think it’s broken or not in use any more.

Unrelated links. Linking to sites that have got nothing to do with your business niche is a big no-no and in the past this was common practice however, with the emergence of Google’s algorithms linking has to be done very carefully. If you find your site has been linked to websites that are unsuitable, you can make use of Google’s disavow tool to disassociate yourself. Any linking should appear natural which is why it must be done carefully. Be niche specific when choosing to link with sites or directories so that you do not fall foul of the search engine algorithms.

These are just a few of the common mistakes that are made with SEO, take care not to fall into the same traps and your website will remain safe when the search engines are indexing and ranking sites in your niche.

 

When it comes to online marketing, SEO should be your first concern. The constant hunt for a boost can be a driving factor in a company’s success. However, there are a number of SEO mistakes that can send your campaign off to the wrong start.

Fortunately, this list of critical SEO mistakes might save you the trouble of rewriting all that content. Plus it gives you tips on how to fix these SEO mistakes in just a few steps.

A Poorly Designed Website

Your content can be flawless, but if you have a generic-looking website with hideous adverts and bulky design, your SEO could take a hit. Not only do your visitors leave sooner, but you’ll also have a hard time getting any attention for other websites. A stylish design can do wonders in remedying this.

If you’re struggling to come up with ways to upgrade your website, you can start with small revamps. Try removing the amount of advertisements on your website. Employ other monetizing options that can be conducted behind-the-scenes. Create crucial pages that have information that your site visitors want to know will also make your content more valuable.

Passing On SEO for Local Search

For small business owners, it’s crucial to invest in your local searching. With SEO, Google handles local searches a bit differently than the global keywords so be sure to attend to this mistake.

Including region specific keywords in your contents will help to boost your SEO in local searches. Also try putting your address on the footer of your home page. Listing your business in local directories and linking back to your website are also smart strategies to improving local searches for your business.

Ignoring On-Page SEO

While most marketers give ample consideration to off-page SEO activities and techniques, on-page SEO is often ignored. As a marketer, you have to understand that on-page SEO is equally as important as off-page SEO.

Like any other part of your content, prioritize using relevant and quality content. Also keeping your website regularly updated also adds interest and can increase traffic. Within content, using multiple keywords and publish relevant content are crucial to attracting and retaining viewers.

Avoiding Trending Keywords

The question isn’t whether you should use keywords at all, but whether you’re using the right ones. Avoiding trending keywords is the biggest SEO mistake that you could do. Harness the power of these keywords and optimize your contents for these to bring in substantial new traffic.

Unsure how to utilize trending keywords for your business? Try using other methods of finding keywords than Google Keyword Planner. Monitoring Google Trends on a regular basis also helps, as you can learn to analyze the best trends for you to use.

Read more: http://tech.co/5-seo-mistakes-probably-making-business-2016-05

Using A Blog To Promote Your Business

It is so important for all businesses to be on the lookout for ways of promoting their brand and their products and services so that their name becomes familiar and is in the public eye. Blogging can be very useful for this purpose and it not only provides publicity, it allows you to communicate with your customers.

There are many online marketing tools and blogging is only one that can be a part of a complete internet marketing strategy. You can make use of your blog to provide information about new product ranges, new services, tell customers the company news, in fact, you can use it to tell the world about anything to do with your business.

A business blog, particularly if you make your own videos, is a great way of showcasing every aspect of your company. A well written article in combination with a video will provide customers old and new, with the information they need in order to choose you to do business with. Your blog can also provide customers with offers or discounts as well as showing them how to use products. It’s a really effective method of connecting with people and demonstrating what your business is about.

Blogging can be very effective in allowing your customers to converse with you, they can comment on your blog posts which can create a more personal experience. Where customers feel valued, they are more likely to be loyal to your brand, they will recommend you to others and they will voice their opinions.

Having a strong business brand is essential to success and blogging will help to achieve this. Using your blog as a voice for your brand provides the opportunity to increase your business base as well as presenting your company to the world. The impression your company conveys is important and if you are presenting a sound business brand consistently, customers become familiar with this and this encourages trust and loyalty.

Blogging is not that hard, anyone can do it and if you can update your blog once or twice a week, that will help a great deal. Obviously, if you can update your blog more often, all the better but the reality is, most business people are too busy to write articles for their blogs. It all depends on what you want to put up, if you have lots of snippets, it might be better to put each one up on different days. Longer posts can be uploaded at any time. Try to be consistent with your posts as visitors have favourite sites to visit for new updates and they could be disappointed not to find any new information when they land on your website.

Of course, if you really don’t have time to update and maintain a blog, you could pay someone else to do it for you. There are specialist companies who will do this for you, all you have to do is to provide a bit of information regarding what you want posting and they will do the rest.

 

As any good SEO services provider will tell you, blogging is an important tool when it comes to marketing your business. Not only is it an effective way to communicate with your customers, but it can help with SEO on your main company website when linked to a successful blog.

To create a blog that works and gets lots of people reading it, you need to ensure that people can easily find it. This means doing your search engine marketing research and ensuring you optimise your blog posts for SEO, so that Google and other search engines rank your blog highly.

Here are nine of the best tips for perfecting your blogs for best SEO results:

Original and relevant content

Google values relevant and informative content and originality counts for a lot. If it’s already been written a thousand times before, the likelihood is that a search engine will just pass over your blog. You need fresh ideas and when writing for your blog, try and come at it from a different angle.

Utilise keywords

Keywords are incredibly important for on-page optimisation and taking the time to thoroughly research the best and most relevant keywords for your blog will pay in the long run. Make a list of words that are appropriate for your site. If you are stuck, there are plenty of free tools that can help generate relevant keywords such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool can even show you what keywords your competitors are using and provide SEO analysis.

Regular content

To optimise your blog, you must add content frequently. Google and other search engines need to know that your site is active and not dead space so creating regular blogs will help with this.

Relevant links

Building links into your blog post is a great way to enhance your SEO and also helps readers to link through to other relevant pages, either internally or externally. If you mention something that is covered on your main company website, make sure you include a link to that page. If you reference another blog or article on your page, include a link.

Optimise your theme

Make sure that your code is clean and that search engines can find it. Ensure there are no broken links or broken navigation menus. The blog site must have a fast loading speed to create a good user experience. Companies that provide SEO services will be able to offer advice about this.

Install a sitemap

This will provide readers (and therefore Google) with a full map of all blog posts, all pages and any archives. This makes it easier for readers to navigate their way around the site and find the most relevant information more easily. It also means that search engines can index your site properly.

Optimise images

We have talked a lot about words but images are also important. If you are including images with your blog posts, you must ensure that you include relevant keywords within the saved file name and always provide alternative text with a relevant description of the photo.

Build up social media profiles

If you are utilising social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn for example) for your business then you must ensure you crosslink them with your blog. Promote your new blog posts across your social media platforms to drive more traffic to your site.

– See more at: https://www.b2bmarketing.net/resources/blog/9-seo-tips-small-businesses-get-your-blog-noticed#sthash.qyaYb5mM.dpuf

 

Making The Most Of Your Search Marketing Strategy

Business owners know that in order to be successful, advertising and marketing is essential. It does not matter what goods or services you offer, if customers don’t know about you, then your business will not thrive. Since we now live in a technological age, marketing is more important than ever before and just having a website is not enough, you have to be found on the search engines so that you can grow your customer base. This means that you will need to target niche keywords that potential customers are using to search for the services or goods that you supply.

Many businesses will try to save money and do a bit of search marketing themselves, they might take part in beginner’s class or buy a book or DVD to give them a bit of insight into search marketing. What these people might not realise or understand, is that this type of marketing takes in a number of different strategies. It is therefore advisable to engage a specialist SEO company who can undertake the work and make sure that it is done properly and within the rules of the search engines.

Doing search marketing takes time, effort and a certain level of skill in order to achieve results that will drive more quality traffic to the site. By hiring an internet marketing firm, you will be buying the services and expertise of people who really know what they are doing. It will save you time and money in the long run. Remember that marketing is just one aspect of running your business and you will be better served spending your valuable time on other areas where your own expertise can be harnessed.

Another benefit of using an online marketing firm is that you could well have an advantage over the competition, particularly if they are not doing much marketing or are doing it themselves. A new business or one that needs a bit of a boost will certainly make advances in their rankings by making use of expert services. There will be a range of services on offer and although you will be spending money on these, you will reap the rewards and start making money when the website starts converting traffic.

Remember that you also need to ensure that your website is accessible from mobile devices. This is important because it is a fact that more and more searches are being made from mobiles and you do not want to miss out on high levels of potential customers. Even if your site is just for information about your business, it is still important that you make sure that prospective clients can visit your website from their device. So, talk to us today about how we can help you with your search marketing campaign and what you would like to achieve.

 

 

The last few years, search engines such as Google, Bing, and even Apple, have been upgrading their algorithms and machine learning processes to account for the end-user’s experience. But, since their algorithms are built upon the work completed by automated crawling bots (pieces of software that manually scour the internet), it has always been difficult for them to truly simulate the actions of a flesh and blood user. And it’s not feasible for them to create an algorithm that’s based on the anecdotal feedback of an army of individual users that submit their findings.

Instead the search engines have started to write logic and incorporate machine learning algorithms that based on vast troves of user behavior metrics, to their best estimation, is what a user experience should be on a website. Some of the criteria they are now measuring are site speed, mobile optimization, site structure, content, and dozens of other signals that should give the algorithm an idea of whether or not search engine users are getting what they expect from a website.

So, what does this mean for companies, marketers, and website owners when it comes to their SEO?

Basically what I, and dozens of other SEO industry experts, have been writing about for years has now come to fruition. We’ve exited the era of search engine optimization (SEO), and have now entered the new age of search experience optimization (also… SEO).

And this is great news for anyone that performs digital marketing correctly. It means that “gaming” the system has become less and less viable, and that groups who rely on black hat techniques are seeing their efforts become less effective.

So, how should websites be optimized for the search engines now that user experience plays such a big role?

Ask Questions, Provide Answers

Previously, marketers used to obsess over ideas like keyword density, meta descriptions, and link profiles. They had everything down to percentages and numbers and it all made sense when it was placed into an excel sheet. But how on earth was a website that was built from data on an excel sheet supposed to appeal to a human being?

That’s the problem the search engines set out to fix. And you need to accommodate the changes they’ve made.

Specifically, you need to think about your website visitors at every stage of your web design and marketing process. And this can be done easily with a series of question and answer audits you can ask yourself as you’re creating your marketing campaign.

For instance, if you’re designing a web page and you’re wondering how to make it appear in the Google search results, you should start by asking what your customers are typing into the search engine. This sounds rudimentary, but think it through for a moment. Previously marketers would optimize for terms such as “snow tires” or “weight loss products”. But search habits have become more semantic and people are no longer typing in general terms, but rather they’re asking questions.

Thus, the search term “snow tires” has evolved into, “what are the best snow tires for a 2008 Ford F150?”

And it’s the companies that are answering the questions for their customers that are starting to win in the search engine rankings. So, stop fretting over how many times you mention the keyword in the content you’re writing on the page, and instead start asking yourself what your customers need help with.

Embrace Mobile

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you may be shocked to hear that most people use smart phones and that smart phone searches now account for a more search volume than desktop searches. However, if you’ve been living in the world with the rest of us, this isn’t too surprising. So, if everyone is using mobile devices to browse the web, shouldn’t you likewise be optimizing your site for mobile traffic?

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/miketempleman/2016/02/16/seo-has-evolved-to-search-experience-optimization/2/#4930c0402bac

Why Links DO Matter for SEO

There has been no end of talk about the death of SEO and of how it is now impossible to do anything that will make any difference to the rankings a site gets for any given term. Those who espouse this opinion go to great lengths to tell that trying to ‘influence Google’ into giving a site better rankings and hence exposure, is just a waste of time and money…

Now, if they were to say that ‘trying to trick Google was a waste of time‘ then I would agree, well at least for the most part, as today Google has far more sophisticated tools to ‘decide’ whether a page is any good or not, that is to say that the page:-

  • Answers the viewers question
  • Provides useful information on the topic (relating to the search term)
  • Assists by providing details of where help may be found
  • Looks at the problem / issue a different way (one that could be said to be interesting)
  • Sells the person the goods / services they want
  • Is funny or educational
  • Is in someway a useful resource for the viewer.

How it does all of the above is a well kept secret, but while we do not know 100% what does work, we know a lot about the things that do not work. This include building links the in the wrong manner (basically too many ‘money keywords’, or building them too quickly) or by having copied or ‘thin’ content.

SEO FACTORS THAT DO MATTER

But, returning to matters that we do know help rankings, let us look again at links. I have been told many times that links do not matter, and however I much that I protest that this is not true, those that hold this view will not be moved. I think that in some cases the persons concerned have been dealt a bad blow by another SEO company that took their money and then built either the wrong links or simply not enough to make any diffference, but whatever they will not move from their stance, and that after all is their right.

For my part all I can do is to prove to them that links, when built in the right way, and when part of an orchestrated plan (which includes having good quality, original content on the site) DO ASSIST in getting better rankings.

The best way of showing how links have improved matters is by looking at an example, and what better example to show than one relating to Serendipity’s own site..

SEO WEST MIDLANDS – THE QUEST FOR A FIRST PAGE RANK

The term ‘seo west midands’ was in part chosen as an agency that I used to work with had a first page ranking for the term, and I wanted, for purely personal reasons, to get a better one than them. For one I thought that our site was far more relevant to the subject (they are a design agency with an SEO bolt on, while we at Serendipity do nothing else than SEO / Marketing), but also that our site contains huge amounts of info on SEO whilst their blog, for example, has only 3 posts in the last 5 months…

The question that first has to be asked is why was Google giving us such a poor rank for this term in the first place? All the information available to them should have made our site a better choice, but no, we were left on the second or third page of results. That is until we started creating links…

the effect of building links

Here we can see how the addition of links to the SEO ‘recipe’ for the SOM site made all the difference, suddenly the site was catapulted over the top of my rival, staying there consistently since.

Now, here is a bit of a rub, in that any ranking reporting system you use is only gives one ‘view’ of reality, and the fact is that Google will display it’s results in many different ways, for all sorts of different reasons. So it was  not much of a surprise when another system that I use showed us just below my rival.

This system, which we use to check out the competition for any given term when running our free SEO Health Checks, provides a lot of useful data:-

seo west midlands data

 

As can be seen, here the SOM site is still on the first page, but lower than reported on the other system, but what is more interesting is that the data shows quite a few patterns.

The first is that overall, the sites with the higher TRUST FLOW are ranked higher than the others (there is always an exception to every rule, sometimes the sites in question quickly disappearing as Google ‘gets it’s act together), whilst also showing that pages which have links to them are liked better by Google. On the latter point it must be said that if a domain is very strong, that each of it’s pages have a better chance of getting a rank, even when the page has no links pointing directly to it, the rank for esterling.co.uk being a good example.

What does all this prove? Simply that LINKS DO MATTER and that if they are created to a page on a site that contains relevant useful information, that a better rank on Google is 9 out of 10 times achieved.

I will be adding more on this subject later in 2016 as we have another test in process at the moment. The aim here is to get better rankings for some other local SEO terms. Before we started the process our ranks for these terms were to all intense and purposes nil, so we have added a new page to the site, especially for these terms and are in the process of building links to the site and page to support the drive. The first results (really a benchmark BEFORE the links have any effect) is shown below:-

keyword rankings 140216

Please look out for more posts on the subject of Linking and SEO

Understanding The Basics Of SEO

It is true that many people find SEO confusing and overwhelming particularly as the ‘rules’ keep changing. There are however, a few SEO tasks that you can do that will not hurt your rankings and that will in fact help them. There is no point in wasting your time doing things that aren’t going to do any good or that could in fact harm your position in organic search.

Never underestimate the value of high quality content. The content that you add to your site or your blog must be relevant to your niche, it would be a mistake to provide content, regardless of how good it is, about a subject that has no relevance to your business. It is important to understand what valuable content actually means. The content is deemed to be valuable when it is both engaging to the reader and relevant to the niche. This is where Google’s Panda algorithm comes into play, it is being updated to be able to search your content in order to decide how well it has been written and how relevant it is to your niche. So, writing content that is full of grammatical errors will not do you any good at all. Make sure that your punctuation and spelling are correct too, it makes it easier for the human reader to understand what you are trying to convey.

Backlinks still provide a great deal of power but only if they are carefully cultivated. It is essential that links are only created with relevant niche sites and that you use a wide range of keywords for your anchor text. Using the same ones all the time is likely to attract the wrong kind of attention, so mix it up a bit and make sure that you don’t just link to the same page all the time either.

Social signals are becoming more important to rankings these days and again, it is important to use the right ones. When visitors share your content, this provides validation that it is quality, the search engines take note of this. Google +, Twitter and Facebook appear to be influential but YouTube is also catching up, so don’t discount using video as a means of providing quality content. Make sure you provide sharing buttons on your site so that it is easy for visitors to share what they are enjoying. This is another way of obtaining natural backlinks to your site.

The main message to take away from this post is, if it looks natural, it is worth doing. The search engines like things to be natural, any unnatural looking patterns will attract attention that you do not want and could see your site slip down the organic rankings or even being penalised. Remember that SEO is a bit of a marathon, it’s not a sprint, it takes time for your strategy to start to work however, providing you have taken your time at the beginning and not tried to take unnatural looking shortcuts, you should begin to see some positive rewards.

 

When experts discuss SEO, or search engine optimization, most marketers and entrepreneurs get a glassy look in their eyes and quickly send their minds to the ether for a respite. The problem is that a lot of SEO is technical and quite boring, and experts will often brush over the more basic tactics that still produce great results. By focusing on some of these small, simple methods rather than trying to figure out the more technical aspects of SEO, you can quickly raise your position in search engine results. You’ll have less of a learning curve, making it easy to apply these SEO changes now and be able to continue using them.

Choose the Right Keywords

One of the biggest problems people have with SEO is choosing keywords that actually generate traffic. While you do need to select keywords that people use and have little competition, you also need to select keywords that are relevant to your content.

You also need to select a few keywords for your blog posts. The exact number that you need will be determined by the size of your site and your industry. Most small blogs, for example, only cover one or two different main keywords, while authority sites can cover hundreds. After you have selected your main keywords, you need to find several long tail keywords that relate to your main keywords. These can help serve as inspiration for your blog posts and help you target a more niche market.

Small Things Can Count the Most

When it comes to optimizing a blog post around a keyword, search engines don’t just see how many times you used the word. Every search engine takes META data into account when they choose which sites rank higher than others. This makes sense, as META data also has a great influence on how your webpage is displayed to someone searching online.

META data is comprised of several components, but for SEO purposes, you will mostly need to focus on the title and description. Having a well-formatted URL that relates to your META data is also appealing to search engines.

To get the perfect, SEO-friendly META data that will help you get more traffic:

  1. Write a unique title that relates to the content of your post. Use a long tail keyword, but make sure your title is not just the keyword. For example, “How to write a META title the easy way.”
  1. Write a short, but catchy description that encourages people to click. Include your long tail keyword and one supporting keyword in this description. For example, “Learn how to write a META title to help you get traffic fast.”
  2. Properly format your URL so that it includes a keyword and is easy to find. For example, “examplewebsite.fakeurl.com/how-to-write-a-META-title”

The goal of META data is to entice human readers to click on your links, but to also send signals to search engines using consistent keywords.

Avoid Recycled Content

One of the first things that people learn about SEO is that search engines can recognize plagiarized content and they don’t like it! While most of us know not to steal other people’s work, we often forget that it is easy to plagiarize ourselves. Offering the same content over and over again means you will not only bore your readers, but be placed lower in the search results as well.

If you are building your website around a single keyword, you may run out of writing ideas very quickly. If this happens, you will need to explore the topic from a different angle or buying perspective. Try to include fresh news stories about your topic. Remember, not every blog post you publish needs to contain the same keyword to help you generate traffic.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/miketempleman/2016/01/29/the-simplest-most-effective-seo-tactics-you-will-ever-learn/2/#3f7a75e246cc

SEO Poem (Created for a local business networking group)

We all know that there is more to marketing and selling your products than using the Search Engines to bring in traffic and sales (although this is obviously a VERY useful channel) and with this in mind I do a certain amount of networking with local businessess.

The challenge with such events is to ‘stand out’ from the crowd and be remembered for what you do, and to a certain extent for who you are (having a memorable personality is useful here).

With this in mind, and as they was a already a ‘poet’ in the group, I wrote this little poem that I hope shows just what we do…

“I am a little website
  As pretty as can be

But no one it seems
  Wants to visit me..

 

Mr Google came a few times
  That is very true

But he seemed not to understand me
  And left without even a to do!

 

So I sit here just a twiddling
  My little website thumbs

When what I really want
  Is lots of new friendly chums

 

But how can this goal be reached
  Just what am I to do

If I go on like this for much longer
   I’ll end up feeling really blue..

 

Of course I get lots of calls
   All a promising me

A first page position on Google
   All for a very reasonable fee

 

But I have heard they’re all rubbish
  Promising more than they can give

Some say it just cheating
  Whilst others say it’s just one big fib

 

But there is light in the tunnel
   I’m sure that you’ll agree

It’s talking to Graham Baylis
  Now there’s someone whose worth their fee!

 

He checks to see what is wrong
  A delving oh so deeply

Coming back with so much data
  That I’m afraid it makes me sleepy..

 

But the good news is that I
  Just have to listen a little

For Graham knows what to do
  And soon goes into battle!

 

Soon Mr Google understood me
  And now when he comes along

He no longer leaves straight away
  So I know that at last I belong

Next a sprinkle of links are added
 To make a bigger impression

And soon I see the results
  With many a friendly session

 

So if you know another website
  That is feeling lost in the crowd

Do call in Mr Graham
   I’ll know he’ll do them proud…

Top Tips on how NOT to Do Link Building for SEO in 2016

At Serendipity Online Marketing, we are always amazed at the paradox that is SEO, particularly as far as Google is concerned…

Recently we have seen that Google wants rich content, loving it seems pages that are 1,000 plus words long (which is a lot of text believe me), whilst at the same time saying that the use of ‘tabbed content’ (where the words are there for SEO by are not visible until called into being so to speak by the user clicking a button) is frowned upon.

The reason this is strange is simple in that Google also want sites to offer a great user experience. One would seem to be at odds with the other, in that the tabbed content stops pages looking like a ‘wall of words’ and thus harder to read.

Linking – Another Paradox.

The issue with links is perhaps even more strange in that Google ‘needs’ links to sites as they use them to decide what is good content or not, and yet they do not really want anyone to build them (in any artificial manner) as they want them to grow ‘naturally’ as people find and link to the content on a site.

All this is fine, but there is that large chicken and egg question here, as for new sites at least, how do people find the content (so that they can link to it) in the first place. Without links the site is not likely to get good rankings and thus cannot get links, which means it can’t get ranks…

Of course, other means can be used to get people to a site so that they can ‘like and link to it’s content’, perhaps using Google Adwords…..

However, there is a school of thought that says that building links the right way (as long as there is something good to point too – which means also attending to the content of the site as well) is a GREAT way of boosting rankings, and the tests and experience we have proves this 100%, building links the RIGHT WAY ALWAYS increases traffic.

BUT, and it is a big BUT, there is a wrong way of building links and if you do too much of any of the things below, you are more than likely steering a course for disaster, at least as far as getting rankings and thus traffic from the Search Engines (particulary Google).

For the full article on how not to build links click the link!

Link building has had a rough year. Thanks in part to Google’s John Mueller’s comments that link building, in general, is a strategy to avoid, a number of SEO practitioners have moved away from the practice.

Naturally Acquired Links are Best

More specifically, they’ve flocked to a more natural form of link building involving the creation, syndication and promotion of thoroughly researched original content; the idea here is to attract or earn links naturally without ever manually building a link on an outside source.

I’m a big fan of this approach. It’s safe, natural and can earn you a ton of links if your content is good enough. However, I still believe there’s a place for manual link building — as long as your focus is on providing valuable content to your readers.

Good and Bad Links

So what exactly differentiates a “good” link from a “bad” link in Google’s eyes? How can you be sure that a link you’ve manually built isn’t just going to get your website penalized?

As long as you can avoid these seven characteristics, all of which can make a link “bad,” you’ll remain in good standing:

1. It’s On A Low-Authority Or Questionable Domain

The higher your site’s authority is, the higher you’re going to rank in Google. Links on already-high authority sites pass far more authority to your site than those on low-authority sites. If your link appears on a site with a poor reputation, it could do active harm to your organic search visibility.

Generally, unless you’re perusing spam sites or blacklisted pages, you won’t have to worry much about this. Google looks for patterns that it can verify with a high level of certainty, so a single low-authority link won’t hurt you; but hundreds or thousands sustained over the course of a month or more certainly could.

Overall, it’s in your best interest to get links on the highest-authority sources you can find, while avoiding disreputable ones.

2. It’s Pointing To A Source Irrelevant To Its Content

Context is important in Google’s modern search algorithm. It’s not enough to have a link pointing to your site — that link needs to be associated with content that’s somehow relevant to your site, as well.

For example, if you’re a manufacturer, and you post a link to your site in an article about hamburger production in a butcher shop forum, chances are it will raise some red flags.

Keep all your links context-specific, and pay close attention to the types of sources you rely on — the closer they are to your industry, the better.

3. It’s Repeated Too Many Times On The Domain

Quantity is important when it comes to links, but more links isn’t always better. Diversity is also important. If Google sees too many links pointing back to your domain on a certain site, it may flag that as suspicious.

Instead, Google likes to see lots of links pointing to your domain from multiple sources. Since each link after the first on a single domain suffers a downgrade in value, it’s in your best interest to diversify your link sources.

4. It’s A Part Of A Reciprocal Exchange

If you have a buddy who owns a similar site, it might seem like a clever idea to exchange links between the two in an effort to boost both your domains.

5. It’s Embedded In Suspiciously Keyword-Matched Anchor Text

Back in the days when keyword-focused optimization was synonymous with SEO, anchor text for links was a big deal. It was a best practice to embed your link in anchor text using the exact keyword you wanted to rank for — today that isn’t going to work.

6. It’s Isolated From Any Meaningful Content

Posting any kind of link without content accompanying it is bad—it doesn’t matter if you do it in a blog comment, forum post or any other medium.

Your links need to have some kind of semantic context to them, and preferably in the body of a detailed, meaningful post. Guest posts on outside blogs are your best friends here. Use them.

7. It’s A Part Of A Scheme

Link schemes aren’t as popular as they used to be, but somehow they’re still floating around. Participating in complex systems like link wheels or link pyramids is a violation of Google’s terms of service.

If you’re caught deliberately participating in a link scheme, you won’t just drop a rank or two — you could earn a bona fide Google penalty.
Final Thoughts

Thoroughly comb through your existing link profile to make sure none of your links possess these seven characteristics. You can use Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, Majestic or any other tool that functions as a search engine for links.

If you notice any that are questionable, work to remove them. It’s far better to remove a dubious link than leave it and suffer the potential consequences. Then, put safeguards in place to ensure your future link building efforts avoid these factors at all costs.

The Importance Of Correct Linking Strategy

Building links is a very effective part of any SEO strategy but it must be done carefully and naturally. It is important that the quality of the sites you are planning to link to is taken into account, you should choose sites that are in a similar or parallel niche to your own, do not be tempted to create back links with sites that have nothing to do with your niche, regardless of how good they are, using such links will only draw the wrong kind of attention to your site and you might find yourself losing places on the organic listings or being completely delisted.

Link building takes a lot of time and effort, it is not something that can be done in a short space of time and nor should it be. It’s a bit like gardening, you plant the seeds, take care of them and then watch them grow before you can harvest the fruits of your labours.

There are a number of strategies that you can use to achieve quality links and here are a few of them.

The first thing you need to do is to ensure that your own website has got enough high quality unique content. This is what will make your site valuable to others which in turn will encourage linking. It cannot be stressed highly enough the importance of the content on your site. You should invest as much time and effort as you can in order to provide your site with the best possible content. You will not only build value but you will also attract larger volumes of traffic.

Now, you might be thinking that adding content is not really going to be possible because you have an ecommerce site. However, there is a lot you can do to create that valuable content, for example, if you sell makeup, you could include some advice on how to use it. Don’t be one dimensional, you could create videos as well, video content is becoming highly valuable so is something you should consider. Think laterally and keep your options open, offer that valuable information to your site’s visitors, it will pay huge dividends.

Make use of relevant directories. Most directories should be avoided like the plague, they don’t offer anything of value, so choose carefully. Look for local business directories in your area that you can submit to. Directories that are niche specific are also worth looking at, don’t discount directories attached to local newspapers either as the ‘local’ aspect can be of value.

Blogging is a very effective way of generating links. Ideally, you will submit blogs regularly in order to interest readers who will then, if they like what you have written, share your piece on social media, which creates valuable links. Again, you needn’t write your blogs, video blogging is just as valuable if it contains excellent content. If you can provide information that is seen as being expert, this will raise not only your profile but also trust. Information from a trusted source is always going to trump that of a lesser source.

As you can see, there are many ways to generate links but they all take time, there are no shortcuts and the more time you spend cultivating your linking, the higher the payoff. If you don’t have the time to do this yourself, talk to us about helping you with your linking strategy.

 

Link building has had a rough year. Thanks in part to Google’s John Mueller’s comments that link building, in general, is a strategy to avoid, a number of SEO practitioners have moved away from the practice.

More specifically, they’ve flocked to a more natural form of link building involving the creation, syndication and promotion of thoroughly researched original content; the idea here is to attract or earn links naturally without ever manually building a link on an outside source.

I’m a big fan of this approach. It’s safe, natural and can earn you a ton of links if your content is good enough. However, I still believe there’s a place for manual link building — as long as your focus is on providing valuable content to your readers.

So what exactly differentiates a “good” link from a “bad” link in Google’s eyes? How can you be sure that a link you’ve manually built isn’t just going to get your website penalized?

As long as you can avoid these seven characteristics, all of which can make a link “bad,” you’ll remain in good standing:

1. It’s On A Low-Authority Or Questionable Domain

The higher your site’s authority is, the higher you’re going to rank in Google. Links on already-high authority sites pass far more authority to your site than those on low-authority sites. If your link appears on a site with a poor reputation, it could do active harm to your organic search visibility.

Generally, unless you’re perusing spam sites or blacklisted pages, you won’t have to worry much about this. Google looks for patterns that it can verify with a high level of certainty, so a single low-authority link won’t hurt you; but hundreds or thousands sustained over the course of a month or more certainly could.

Overall, it’s in your best interest to get links on the highest-authority sources you can find, while avoiding disreputable ones.

2. It’s Pointing To A Source Irrelevant To Its Content

Context is important in Google’s modern search algorithm. It’s not enough to have a link pointing to your site — that link needs to be associated with content that’s somehow relevant to your site, as well.

For example, if you’re a manufacturer, and you post a link to your site in an article about hamburger production in a butcher shop forum, chances are it will raise some red flags. Keep all your links context-specific, and pay close attention to the types of sources you rely on — the closer they are to your industry, the better.

3. It’s Repeated Too Many Times On The Domain

Quantity is important when it comes to links, but more links isn’t always better. Diversity is also important. If Google sees too many links pointing back to your domain on a certain site, it may flag that as suspicious.

Instead, Google likes to see lots of links pointing to your domain from multiple sources. Since each link after the first on a single domain suffers a downgrade in value, it’s in your best interest to diversify your link sources.

4. It’s A Part Of A Reciprocal Exchange

If you have a buddy who owns a similar site, it might seem like a clever idea to exchange links between the two in an effort to boost both your domains.

Unfortunately, this could end up harming more than helping. Google is wise to this “reciprocal exchange” scheme, and if it notices an excessive number of traded links between two sources, it could negatively affect your domain authority. Again, keep source diversity toward the top of your list of priorities.

5. It’s Embedded In Suspiciously Keyword-Matched Anchor Text

Back in the days when keyword-focused optimization was synonymous with SEO, anchor text for links was a big deal. It was a best practice to embed your link in anchor text using the exact keyword you wanted to rank for — today that isn’t going to work.

In fact, it’s the quickest way to land yourself a manual penalty that can be extremely difficult — sometimes impossible — to recover from. Google has an intricate understanding of semantics and link context, and it strongly favors links in natural journalistic context.

6. It’s Isolated From Any Meaningful Content

Posting any kind of link without content accompanying it is bad—it doesn’t matter if you do it in a blog comment, forum post or any other medium.

Your links need to have some kind of semantic context to them, and preferably in the body of a detailed, meaningful post. Guest posts on outside blogs are your best friends here. Use them.

7. It’s A Part Of A Scheme

Link schemes aren’t as popular as they used to be, but somehow they’re still floating around. Participating in complex systems like link wheels or link pyramids is a violation of Google’s terms of service.

If you’re caught deliberately participating in a link scheme, you won’t just drop a rank or two — you could earn a bona fide Google penalty.

Read more: http://searchengineland.com/7-characteristics-can-make-link-bad-seo-237477

Finding The Right SEO Strategy To Suit Your Business

SEO still has its place in online marketing so when you launch your website, you will want to attract more traffic over time. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your site is, if nobody visits it, then it isn’t doing its job. The modern world is digital which means that people are used to accessing websites or information 24/7. Achieving a high place on the popular search engines is usually the goal of website owners so that their site is accessible to visitors whenever they perform a search. However, the reality is that many websites never reach the dizzy heights of page one of the search engines and they never will unless a structured and well planned out SEO strategy is formed and implemented.

Most business owners are not SEO experts and put their trust in companies or individuals who are experts in this field. They should be fully up to date with all the information necessary to implement a multi-pronged strategy that will help to get the site higher in the organic rankings. There is no one foolproof method, a variety of techniques need to be used in order for it to work. Do make sure that whoever you hire to do your SEO only uses white hat techniques and those methods that are approved by the search engines. Falling foul of the search engines means oblivion for your site, it will never appear in the organic listings so this is a key issue.

It can be costly to promote your website, it all depends upon what you want to achieve and how you want it promoted. Just rising up the search engine rankings isn’t enough, you need to be gaining credibility too. By becoming credible, you will gain authority and as such, this leads to better rankings. It’s all about trust, the search engines don’t want to promote sites that are not trustworthy as it damages their reputation.

Businesses worry about the high costs involved with marketing however, a carefully constructed strategy will give a very good return on investment. Increasing targeted visitors to the site who then convert to customers is the end goal, so not only has the site to be excellent but the promotion has to be suitable for the target audience.

Even a local business needs to have an accessible online profile, our world has become one where we are used to finding what we want whenever we want it. Providing the information that people are looking for is the key here, those people might then visit your business and become customers the next day. For national or international business, it is similar but they need to consider that the visitor is wanting those products or services now and as such, need a website that matches those requirements.

This is where SEO comes into its own, it is working round the clock promoting your brand and making it visible in the digital age so that you can capture those new customers and provide them with the goods and services that they are searching for.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of those things a lot of people talk about — it’s something that not only can increase your traffic and your website rank in keywords, but eventually will lead to more sales. And who doesn’t want more sales?

The problem is, with so many people talking about SEO, there are many strategies floating around as to what is the best way to go about implementing SEO on your website.

Sure, the task at hand sounds very easy at first, but using the wrong strategy will lead you to waste time and money and possibly get you in trouble with Google — which is something you definitely do not want.

To make things easier for yourself, below is a guide that essentially explains what you should be looking for in an SEO strategy. What makes one strategy better than another? Why should you ignore some strategies completely?

Here is the first step to becoming an expert at discerning what strategy may work over another.

What are the main features of any SEO Strategy?

When it comes to SEO, you need to be aware of two main components:

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Off-page SEO

On-page SEO

This type of SEO is done to your website directly; basically, it involves multiple parts of your website in determining search engine rankings. For the most part, you can make on-page SEO changes yourself, using the following list:

  • Page content
  • Title Tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Headings
  • URL structure
  • Loading time on pages
  • Internal linking
  • Schema* (I highly recommend adding this into your website)

The purpose of on-page SEO is to ensure that your website is readable by search engines; the easier it is to read the structure and content of your website, the better you will ultimately rank.

Schema is important for your on-page SEO, and you will probably hear the word in conversation with anyone that works with SEO; if you don’t, show him or her the boot!

You will also likely be confused as to what Schema really is (outside of sounding really cool): Schema is a specific vocabulary of tags that you add to your HTML to improve how your page is represented in search engine result pages (SERPs). By adding Schema to your website’s HTML, you’ll be enhancing how the snippets of information will be displayed in SERPs. You’ll also make it easier for Google, Yahoo and Bing to understand what your website/page is about.

Making it easier for the search engines gives you a better chance of ranking higher.

Major Tips

  • Make sure your website loads within three seconds.
  • Make all your images web friendly.
  • Activate Gzip Compression and implement a content delivery network (CDN) into your website.
  • Make sure that the first word in your title tags is a keyword.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO occurs off your website, hence the name. It includes:

  • Link building
  • Social media shares

There are a few more tactics employed in off-page SEO, but the two mentioned are among the more popular methods, with link building being by far the most important strategy.

Off-page SEO, especially link building, is something that needs to be done right, but a lot of people take shortcuts which negatively impact their website. In life, there are no shortcuts, and the same rule applies to SEO.

In fact, link-building quality is extremely important, more so than the quantity of links. Therefore, creating high-quality content is important, in order to draw in users from other websites, to link to you.

You should not be buying links; that will be only a temporary solution. And Google will ultimately penalize you for trying to manipulate the system. To avoid any problems with the search engine giant while trying to improve the SEO for your website, grow your network organically. This involves reaching out to various contacts you have in your industry. When you reach out to people, they may agree to point a link toward your website.

You can also have people do guest posts on your site, and do the same on their sites, filling your articles with keywords that will ultimately direct back to your website. En route, remember that you do not want to guest post or have links pointing from just “anywhere.” The website of origin needs to be reputable for the effort involved to have a positive effect.

There are other link-building strategies outside of guest posting and reaching out to your contacts. Another one involves directory submissions. But I say that with some trepidation, ever since Google began going after directories. Specifically, it went after spam-like directories. Fortunately, Google does like directories edited by humans. In this context, directories like JoeAnt, Yahoo Directory and DMOZ are all worth submitting to.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252025