Why SEO Is Not Dead

SEO has undergone a lot of changes over the last few years particularly with the release of Google’s algorithms. The doomsayers have proclaimed that SEO is dead however, I do not believe that to be the case. Yes, you will find dozens of articles telling you all about the demise of SEO but by the same token you will also find dozens of articles telling you how SEO has adapted and how to make it work for you.

Previously, SEO was often just seen as keywords, linking and page ranking and whilst those are still a very important part of SEO, there is more to it than that. These days, SEO is more about branding and strategy. Having a multi-pronged online marketing strategy is key to success and this includes coming up with a suitable content marketing strategy. Google’s Panda algorithm has changed how content is viewed, it really does separate the wheat from the chaff and anything that does not pass muster, is dropped faster than a hot potato. So, when you are creating your content, make sure that it is written for human beings to read, that it is interesting and gives them something. Make use of a variety of keywords and key phrases and thread them into your content in a natural way.

Using links has also evolved, in the past the more links the better, however that is now very much frowned upon and Google will only reward sites that have high quality relevant links that enhance the site. Providing you adhere to Google’s rules regarding linking, you should stay safe but as the search engine criteria change over time, you may have to change your methods. It is a good idea to ditch links that do nothing for your site and disavow those that you don’t want.

In the past, keywords were one of the main staples of SEO and using lots of pertinent keywords throughout any text on your site was the way forward. Again, this has changed and whilst you can still use keywords, they must be used more carefully. Try to use a wide variety of keywords but use them sparingly.

Google will continue to make changes to their algorithms which mean that it is difficult to stay one step ahead. They are not doing this to be awkward or thwart your efforts, they want to give searchers valuable information when they type in a query which is why the content, keywords and links must be of the very highest quality and very relevant to your niche. There is no point in having content about yachts if you own a business that sells pet supplies, do you see what I mean?

 

 

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to optimizing a website so that it ranks highly on search engine results’ pages, making it easier for users to discover. Local SEO, then, is the optimization process for local results — if your business is in Salt Lake City, Utah, for example, then a focus on local SEO for Salt Lake means that anytime a user searches for your particular business type in Salt Lake City, your business’s website is ranked as one of the topmost results on a search engine’s page.

Content marketing, on the other hand, is essentially the process of creating valuable content that is designed to attract and engage the user, ultimately generating leads and sales.

While the two strategies are often talked about independently of one another, content marketing and a local SEO campaign often go hand-in-hand. Here are five ways to combine them for optimal results:

    1. Keep a Blog
    2. Keeping a blog is one of the most essential aspects of content marketing, and most businesses that have a strong online presence blog on a regular — even daily — basis. Search Engine Land even refers to the blog as the “secret weapon” for local SEO. However, while keeping a blog can be a great way to locally optimize a website for search engine purposes, and provide readers with great content, the effects of a blog can take awhile to come to fruition, and blogging requires a long-term commitment.

 

    1. Social Media is a Must-do

 

      If your business isn’t already using social media as a way to reach out to your audience and attract new customers, then realize this: social media content can be key to building a brand and enhancing a local SEO effort. While you don’t need to be posting on social media 10 times per day to be effective, sending out regular Tweets and status updates (and mentioning location within those) can help to grow a business and an online presence.

 

 

    1. Images and Video

 

      Content doesn’t just refer to the written word; instead, content is everything that’s written, posted, or displayed on or about a business website or business. As such, images and video are two of the most important types of content, but the two that most businesses forget about or tend to prioritize last. However, both images and video are known to attract a large audience, and when title tags and alt tags are optimized with great keywords and a local focus, both can improve search engine rankings.

 

 

    1. Cultivate Online Reviews

 

      If you want to focus on local SEO, then you need to be cultivating online (local) reviews. Yelp and Google+ currently dominate the world of online reviews, so make sure you business is listed on both. Also encourage users to leave review of your services or products on your own website. The more reviews you garner, the higher that your business will rank when a user searches for products/services in your area similar to what you offer.

 

  1. Stay Consistent

According to a January 2015 article published by contributor Jason Demers in Forbes Magazine, the biggest problem with local SEO efforts is inconsistency. To clarify, Demers states that he’s not referring to inconsistency in a posting schedule or branding; rather, the inconsistency that may be bringing your organization down in terms of local SEO are inconsistencies in your NAP, which stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.

Read more http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonha-revesencio/5-ways-content-marketing_b_6814694.html

PPC can really boost traffic to your site

All businesses need to attract new customers and most will these days, have a website to promote themselves. Virtually all websites will use SEO to get listed on the search engines but it takes time, effort and patience to get there. Pay per click or PPC, is a form of advertising that when used carefully can bring in a lot of new business. It can be measured so that you can see what is working, what is not and what your return on investment is. So, what is PPC and how does it work?

PPC is a form of online advertising that is used specifically to drive traffic to a website. Adverts are created which contain relevant keywords or key phrases pertaining to what the business is offering. These adverts are then loaded onto the search engine along with a bid or maximum price the business owner is prepared to pay for each click. For some niches this can be hideously expensive however, if you have completed a thorough keyword research project, you will have many options open to you and you may be able to choose searched for keywords that are not so expensive. You only pay when your advert is clicked and you can set a daily budget so that you don’t end up with a huge bill.

The adverts have a title, heading, description and web address. Once the advert has been written and you are happy with it, you need to set the bid price. You will be bidding for the keyword and as I’ve already said, some niches are very competitive. The more competitive the niche, the higher the costs however, this should not put you off using PPC completely. When your ad has been approved by the search engine, it will run in accordance with how you have set it up. This will include things like the frequency, bids and budget.

PPC has been used very successfully to kick off an SEO campaign and get a website noticed. It might take around 6 months for a site to rank on the search engines however, using PPC, your site can be generating traffic within one day. The thing is, although pay per click is fast, you can easily get carried away and spend rather a lot of money before you even realise it, so be aware of what you are spending and set sensible budgets that you can afford. It is also important to review your PPC from time to time so that you keep everything current and that your campaign is still offering good value for money.

 

 

A lot of money could potentially be wasted if a PPC campaign is not set up and managed correctly, but when done right they can be extremely lucrative.

Here are 9 ways to work out whether or not PPC is working for your business:

1. Impressions and clicks

Firstly one way to see if your campaigns are working at all is to see if they are getting impressions and clicks, and a good level of impressions and clicks.

Obviously budget is going to have some bearing on the amount of clicks and impressions your ads can receive but if you are not seeing the levels that you would want for your chosen budget, ie. you are spending a lot less than you wanted to, then there could be scope to add additional keywords and increase traffic levels and customers to your site.

2. CTR

It is also important to have a good ratio of clicks to impressions, or click through rate (CTR). This is something Google looks at to determine the quality score of your keywords so it’s important to get this as high as possible.

Depending on the type of campaign, display or search, a ‘good’ CTR will vary, but anything over 0.5% for a display campaign and around 3-5% for a search campaign is something to aim for.

3. Average position

To get your ads noticed in the search results they really need to be appearing in the top 3 positions on the page, otherwise they are at risk of getting lost within the noise of the rest of the page.

If your ads have a low CTR then it may be due to the average position so consider increasing bids where appropriate to achieve those top of page slots and you should hopefully see your CTR improve.

4. Conversion rate

The main reason most businesses use Google AdWords is to get more customers, so achieving a high conversion rate is important.

You can use Google’s conversion code to track things like sales or completions of an on-site enquiry form to relate those conversions back to keywords and ads to see which ones are working and which ones are not. You should be aiming for as high a conversion rate as possible, because that means that a high proportion of people coming to your site are carrying out your desired action whilst they’re there.

Conversions can be softer than actual s

5. Sales / leads

It should all boil down to getting more sales and leads! If you own an ecommerce website and your ads are not generating sales then there’s something wrong with your campaigns and/or site.

You also need to factor in ROI. If sales are coming in, are enough coming through to ensure you are seeing a return on your investment?

6. Bounce rate

Another softer metric you can look at to try and establish the quality of traffic coming from PPC ads is bounce rate. This can be done in AdWords itself or within Google Analytics.

ales or leads. You could set up a conversion for an email sign up or pull in engagement goals from Analytics to gauge the quality of the traffic coming via PPC.

Read more http://www.browsermedia.co.uk/2015/01/19/9-ways-determine-whether-not-ppc-campaigns-working/

Further reading

Site speed & PPC performance

Why You Should Not Ignore Linking Strategy

I’m sure we all know about how the search engines use their algorithms to decide whether a website is worthy of being included and ranked. These algorithms have always relied upon links and Google has used this concept of linking to indicate value. Website owners then started using a variety of methods to artificially increase the number of links that pointed to their sites. This led to the likes of Google developing a specific algorithm that targets poor quality links.

 

So, what is a poor quality link? Well, it could be a site that does not have unique content or has thin or very poor quality content that is of no value whatsoever to anyone. There are guidelines that make recommendations for what should be included on websites. What makes a site unique is fairly simple to understand, it is one which has content that is one of a kind, it does not have content shared with any other site and the search engines can identify what is unique and what is not. This is because it has records of all content crawled and by comparing all this content, it knows what is unique and what is duplicated.

 

Another indication of a low quality site, is having lots of adverts at the top of the page which link with other low quality sites. Overuse of keywords and key phrases are another indicator of poor quality. There are a whole host of ways in which the search engines use and correlate data when ranking websites. If you have any broken or obsolete links on your site, remove or repair them. This is a job that needs to be done on a regular basis so that you know what’s working and what is not.

 

It should also be mentioned that your site should only link to others within your niche and not with random sites that have nothing whatsoever to do with your niche. This is why you should avoid at all costs, using link farms and actually, some directories can be detrimental to your site. Local business directories are usually a safe bet but carefully consider whether or not a particular business directory is going to help or hinder your site.

 

Linking needs to be natural, any artificial or unnatural linking patterns will be spotted and you can expect consequences. Obtaining links is hard work, there is no easy solution but it is worth all the effort because you will have links that are high quality and relevant to your niche.

 

 

As Google begins to penalize every known link-building technique, it is going to extremely tough going forward for small businesses with an online channel to build a. high-quality linking strategy. So the success of your business’ SEO is going to depend on how creative you can get.

I asked a few successful SEO agencies and small businesses on the strategies they used to get links for their websites. Here are some of their tips:

1. Build helpful tools for your industry

Every industry has a need for unique tools that will make life easier. While a lot of these tools can be packaged and sold as a product, there are several other smaller tools that are useful but may not actually be turned into a business.

According to Dave Davis, the managing director of RedFlyMarketing, free tools for SEO purposes has been so successful for his company that they now have a dedicated budget to build such tools that their peers and competition can use.

2. Target your journalists on Facebook

Press releases are bland, and they don’t really work in getting the word out to the journalists any more.

According to photographer and writer Annalise Kaylor, spending hundreds of dollars in getting these releases syndicated across PR distribution companies is a futile exercise. Instead, she recommends using Facebook ads to specifically target the journalists you want to reach out to. She recommends aggregating a list of journalists you want to reach out to. Once done, search for their names on Facebook and dig out their profile IDs. Finally, create Facebook ads promoting your blog post and target them at these specific Facebook profiles. Here is a short tutorial of the process. This technique is not only effective but costs you pennies to reach out.

3. Local sponsorships

If you are a small business catering to a specific geography, then backlinks from organizations in your town or neighborhood offer a great deal of SEO impact.

According to Jared Carrizales, the founder at Heroic Search, one way to do this would be to sponsor events. He typically does this by first performing a backlink analysis of competition and identifying links got through sponsorships –digital and local. Once the right events are identified, it is simply a matter of allocating the appropriate budget. Jared says this is a great way to build links from colleges, local events and industry conferences.

4. Create something fun for linking

You don’t always have to create ultra-useful tools and resources to earn links. Sometimes doing something fun will bring links too.

This is exactly what Blue Fountain Media did to earn nearly 50 additional links. Austin Paley, the company’s corporate communications manager, explains that the team decided to implement a playable version of Pac-Man on the website’s 404 page. This took the visitors who landed there by surprise — so much so that a lot of people ended up hyperlinking to the site.

5. Identifying dead businesses

While new businesses are created every day, a lot of existing businesses die.

Brian Dean, the founder of SEO training company, Backlinko says he regularly identifies websites in his industry that have shut shop. Analyzing their backlink profiles will help you identify a number of links from high authority websites that are linking to the now-dead website. Brian says he has been able to get a lot of these websites to replace their outdated links with new resources on his website by just emailing them.

6. Turning copyright violations to linking opportunities

Businesses that own their content (like photographers, event organizers, etc.) are vulnerable to copyright violations where photos and videos they own are shared on other websites, often without permission.

Read more http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241409

More information

7 proactive ways to get backlinks that actually boost traffic

 

Driving More Traffic To Your Website

Just having a website is not enough, it needs visitors. Think about how people will find your site, when you consider all the websites there are out there, finding one specific site is like searching for a thimble in a giant warehouse stuffed with things. Obtaining targeted traffic has to be co-ordinated and organised so that it is a proper marketing strategy. So, how do you go about attracting the right audience to your site?

First and foremost, you need to use a good range of keywords and key phrases that are relevant to your niche, in your published content. It is always a good idea to perform a thorough keyword research so that you are aware of what terms are being searched for. Don’t forget local keywords and long tail keywords, these can lead to a valuable increase in business.

Make use of social media. These days, social media is an important aspect of any online marketing strategy. It is however, important to know which platform or platforms that your customers use. There is no point in being on one that they don’t use, the whole point is so that you can interact with them. Social media can really help with brand recognition and for lesser known companies, it can give them a real boost. You will need to engage with your followers, this need not take a long time, just a few minutes a couple of times a day. Remember, it is a 2 way conversation and should not be used just for the hard sell, you will lose followers faster than snow melting in the midday sun if you just use aggressive selling tactics.

Set up a blog. Having a blog is another way of driving traffic to your site and it doesn’t cost you anything. There are plenty of free web 2.0 blog sites that you can use to publish your blog on. Writing about things you are passionate about will pass on that enthusiasm to your readers. Make sure that you write really interesting articles that people will enjoy reading and will share through social media. Readers want to gain something, so a little titbit of knowledge or some fun and interesting facts will go a long way to encouraging readers to return. Video blogs can be a great way of conveying useful information.

 

 

Social media marketing and SEO are two tightly interwoven strategies. Both are organic, inbound strategies that focus on building an appealing identity that naturally attracts visitors. Since social media relies on high-quality content and a visible, strong brand presence, the efforts you spend on SEO can doubly improve your social media reach, and as most search marketers will tell you, your social media presence can greatly increase your search rankings.

Unfortunately, when discussing how social media can influence your Google rankings, most search marketers leave out the details. Rather than discussing exactly how and why increased social media attention can improve your SEO, it’s written off as a generality, leaving social media marketers to wonder whether their strategies are actually effective.

To remedy this, I’ve compiled a list of six social media practices that are shown to effectively boost your SEO. For more ways social media benefits online marketing campaigns, see “The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing.”

1. Growing Your Number of Followers. The total number of followers and connections your social media profiles contain does have a significant influence on your rankings. A company with 100 Twitter followers won’t receive nearly the ranking bonus of a mega-corporation with a million Facebook likes and a million Twitter followers. However, there are some stipulations to this; Google can detect the quality of your followers, meaning buying 100,000 proxy Twitter followers isn’t going to do much for your overall rankings. Instead, you’ll need to build your following organically.

Growing your number of followers is a slow process, but effective so long as you’re consistent. Present your brand uniquely and consistently, using the same voice to update your users on a daily basis. Post useful articles, helpful tips, open inquiries, and general discussion items, then follow up with your users by engaging with them in conversation directly. Conversations and direct customer engagements are the key to building and retaining a sizable, interactive following, since they encourage current followers to return and help build your authority for new, potential followers.

2. Encouraging External Inbound Links. Social media is also useful because it encourages more external sites to link to your content, and the more diverse external links you have, the more authority you’ll gain in Google’s eyes. Of course, the catch to this is that you have to have high-quality, authoritative content to begin with. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to use to attract links.

In this case, social media serves simply as a broadcast channel. Your content, assuming it’s original and useful, is going to serve as bait, and your social channels are going to serve as fishing poles, putting the bait in front of the right eyes. Use hashtags to gain visibility for your initial rounds of syndication, and don’t hesitate to bring your content into existing threads and discussions. Doing so will improve your social reputation as an authoritative leader, but more importantly, it will maximize your potential external link sources.

3. Optimizing Your Posts for Searches. This strategy also relies upon pre-existing content, but it opens a secondary channel for search. In addition to news articles and Knowledge Graph entries, Google also tends to favor popular social media updates in the top sections of its SERPs. It’s a key, somewhat temporary position you can attain by making sure your posts are optimized for the opportunity.

Read more http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/01/27/6-social-media-practices-that-boost-seo/2/

Developing Your SEO Strategy

Developing your SEO strategy means considering a number of factors. First of all, you need to know what people are searching for, which means that you must be aware of the keywords and key phrases that are being searched for in your niche. This is where doing a thorough keyword research project before you begin your strategy will pay dividends. You can then make use of this research to make the most of your website’s content and HTML coding so that it is associated with specific keywords and phrases within your niche. It is however, important to note that you should not overuse keywords within your content.

Another aspect that needs to be addressed is linking. Having lots of inbound links that are relevant to your niche and that are from highly rated sites are valuable. You should from time to time, do an audit on your site so that if there are any dubious links, you can remove them or disavow them because these links are damaging to your site.

Social media is now an important part of any SEO strategy because of the traffic that is brought to your site. Choose 1 or 2 platforms that you know your customers/clients/followers use so that you can interact with them. The relationships that are built using social media create a lot of back links as well as inbound links.

When you are creating your content, remember to write for a human audience rather than for search engine spiders. If something is interesting to read, it is likely to be shared and this leads to an increase in traffic. Writing interesting content can be quite hard work so do make sure you are writing about something that you are enthusiastic about. Your enthusiasm will be spilled over to your audience and they are more likely to return to read more and share your articles with their friends.

The ranking or position of a website on the search engine rankings is determined by a number of factors. The algorithms used by the search engines to weed out undesirable sites will be the same ones that determine what is a desirable site. This is why you need to be aware of linking and keywords so that your site does not fall foul of the rules. The algorithms will analyse meta tags, keywords and links to determine whether or not your site is of good quality and relevant to the search being conducted.

 

 

Getting your website and content to rank in the search engines has always required a keen understanding of SEO guidelines and best practices. It’s also required a whole lot of work in order to properly carry out these best practices.

2015 is no different. The SEO landscape has changed over the past year, and staying on top of the changes and knowing exactly what they mean – practically speaking – is the key to higher rankings.

Following are 5 of the biggest challenges you’ll face this year as you attempt to get your content ranking in the search engines.

1. Recalibrating your keyword strategy: Semantic search has overtaken keyword search

In the past, keyword research was the foundation of any SEO strategy. It would look something like this: Using various keyword tools, you would find high-volume, low-competition keywords, and then include these keywords on your site in a variety of ways. And while on-page SEO remains an important way of letting Google know what your content is about, this strategy alone isn’t likely to get you very far.

Since the release of Google’s Hummingbird update of 2013, semantic search has overtaken keyword-based search. Google’s algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated, evaluating queries based more on user-intent and less on the specific keywords that are used.

Despite Google’s emphasis on semantic or conversational search, many (many!) business owners remain stuck in the pre-Hummingbird mentality and practices (“Plug your keywords into the Yoast SEO plugin and you’re good to go!”). This year, a challenge for business owners will be to learn new ways of optimizing their content for semantic search:

  • Focusing on answering questions; particularly questions mobile-users may be asking.
  • Offering helpful supplementary information along with your base content: info like reviews, maps, travel info, etc.
  • Creating content that aims to provide all relevant info on a particular topic or theme. In this way you’ll be including a wide variety of thematic keywords rather than potentially over-optimizing for a few specific terms.

2. Optimizing properly for local SEO

While nearly every business has an SEO strategy of sorts, local SEO optimization is still being underutilized by many businesses and brands. The fact is that 50% of mobile users who perform a local search visit a store within one day. In other words, if your site and content aren’t ranking in local search, you’re missing out on a huge influx of wallet-in-hand visitors.

We also know that 46% of searchers now use mobile exclusively for product research. Think about how and when you do your own product research: On the bus ride home? While you wait for a business meeting to start? On the way to the store? Mobile technology is everywhere, and businesses that aren’t optimizing for local search – along with a mobile-first mentality – are going to suffer. I wrote about this in more detail in my article Why Every Entrepreneur Should Focus on Local SEO.

3. Shifting your mindset from link building to relationship building

An important element of the SEO of previous years was requesting and acquiring links from a variety of sites; years ago, many businesses found success through the use of automated directories, article marketing and link exchanges. Keyword-rich anchor text for internal links was another popular strategy used by many sites; in other words, linking to pages on your site using the keywords you hoped to rank for.

Continue reading here http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/01/14/5-seo-challenges-business-owners-will-face-in-2015/2/

SEO: where to begin

 

Have you considered running PPC and SEO together?

Consider SEO and you probably think about organic search strategies and/or methods of increasing your visibility in the SERPs. On the other hand, PPC is paying for high visibility. Looking at both of these strategies, you might be looking at them as 2 separate entities however, they can be successfully used in tandem. By doing this you can actually enhance your online marketing campaign and increase your results.

Search engine marketing is a term that has many facets however, it does include both SEO and PPC that can be used to improve your online profile. It is important to balance the 2 so that both your long term and short term goals are achieved. Both can be used successfully to convert visitors and that is what it is all about.

Running a PPC campaign without supporting it with SEO will not be very successful because your landing pages won’t be as relevant to your adverts and visitors will not hang about. The one aspect that both SEO and PPC share is the need to conduct a comprehensive keyword research project. It is those keywords that will lead visitors to your site by either clicking on your ads or finding you via the organic search results. These keywords will also be used in the content that appears on your site.

The ideal PPC keywords offer high search volume but are low in competition but of course this is not always easy to do. It all depends on your niche, competition can be fierce and this is why keyword research is so important.

The thing about SEO is that it is a long term strategy so requires planning for the long haul. Using PPC as a short term strategy in order to obtain front page visibility can give you a leg up while you are setting up your SEO campaign.

You should remember that PPC is not only beneficial in the short term, there are many businesses who continue to use it year on year as it offers a good return on investment. If you can find the magic key where your investment gives you a good ROI, it really does make sense to use it.

Looking at the similarities in approach and how the 2 strategies complement each other for both long and short term campaigns. Instead of using a scatter gun approach to online marketing strategies where you try to run lots of different things at once, concentrate on PPC and SEO to run in tangent and you could find your site rising up the rankings.

 

As 2015 kicks off, it is important to take stock of the bounty available to online marketers. Every year brings more tools to engage prospects, data to inform best practices, and hacks to improve ROI.

Unless, of course, that insidiously negative and cold-hearted Oscar the Tool Trashing Grouch darkens your door-step. For those of us following trends in online marketing and product innovation, one can’t help but notice PPC has been celebrating surplus harvest for the past few months, while SEO can’t seem to shake the Grouch of algorithm fluctuations.

It is important to point out this bounty/trashy trend only pertains to transactional SERPs and commercial keywords (informational searches still represent a strong use-case for focusing on SEO), and I thought nothing would kick-off the new year better than a review of the presents we in PPC have received, while SEO enviously looks on.

Focus on Remarketing

While remarketing isn’t “new,” the tools available for marketers have become substantially more robust and easy to implement. The GDN (Google Display Network) traditionally has lower conversion rates, but at the same time allows advertisers to entertain and convey brand-centric messaging that can be hard to achieve in text ads.

Remarketing bridges the conversion-centric text ad with the brand-happy GDN by allowing text ads to find users who have already shown interest in the brand/product because of a click on a display ad or visit to a brand’s domain. The best part about remarketing is you can target IP’s in the campaign at proven points when conversion is most likely to happen. While there is still lots of uncharted territory in the remarketing space, a major victory for marketers comes in being able to craft campaigns that can retain users after they’ve become customers. By editing the product offering, discount, or even creating a lull in how often a user is exposed to a brand, marketers are able to create dynamic engagement with tangible data to support performance

Both Bing and Google offer meaningful remarketing solutions, but there’s no question Google has more historical data to help make informed decisions on how to structure campaigns. Additionally, Google now allows text ads to be part of a remarketing campaign, while Bing’s remarketing is strictly on its display network.

Actionable take away: Don’t take no for an answer in online marketing, especially since ad networks offer polite and brand-relevant ways to engage users through remarketing.

Google Shopping

E-commerce marketers, rejoice! Google Shopping is an improved version of PLA’s (product listing ads) and offers advertisers the chance to engage users with images as well as promotions. One of the big benefits of Google shopping is Google loves sharing promotions since they’ve been proven to have a higher CTR. Any product offering at least 15% off it’s normal listing price will rank higher in the SERP, as well as have a bold call-out of the promotion. This also applies to site-wide promotions.

 

– See more at: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/01/08/#sthash.E3VlBW4Q.dpuf

How to build the perfect landing pages for SEO or PPC

 

Making the most of SEO

It is so important nowadays for businesses to have some sort of social media presence. With virtually everyone having access to social media, it is a great way of interacting with your clients, improving your customer services and attracting new customers. Business branding is how you should look at using social media rather than as a sales pitch. Yes, you can use it for sales promotions however, this should be done very sparingly, people do not want to see a permanent sales pitch and you will lose followers faster than snow melting in the desert. Work your pitch as a way of sharing information, tips, advice and even as a way of showing the lighter side of life. Be seen as a business who is expert in their field and who is always happy to share knowledge. Your own profile should not be neglected. Create a professional profile which contains genuine information that shows you as a real person.

 

Social media is all about sharing and interacting so spend some time doing this. Start a conversation and see what people say. Do not get into arguments, that would be completely unprofessional and will also show your company in a very bad light. Try to be respectful online, remember that what you write is there for all to see. Be enthusiastic and positive, these qualities can be a real magnet. Honesty and kindness should be employed at all times, this does not mean that you have to be either a soft touch or a push-over but it will show a better side to you and your business.

 

Yes, it is that time of the year again when everyone starts to predict what SEO will look like in the coming year. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. There are public updates as well as refreshes and tweaks that occur on a regular basis. Rather than throwing out theories or predictions, I want to discuss five things that you should already be focusing on as we enter 2015.

1. ROI Should be the Metric You Track, Not Keyword Rankings

Determining whether or not an SEO effort is successful based on keyword positions is completely reckless. Ranking reports that show your website is ranking high for a bunch of keywords looks great but it doesn’t always translate to leads, sales and revenue. In fact, some SEO companies will target low competition, virtually useless keywords, just so they can tell you that you are ranking #1 on Google.

As a business owner, which statement would you want to hear from your SEO company?

  • Great news! Your website is number one on Google for the keyword ‘free widget information’ but we don’t know if it has produced any revenue. Buy, hey congrats — you are number one! Woo hoo!
  • Last month’s infographic was responsible for earning 72 inbound links and it also pulled in 67 leads, 18 sales and17,360 in revenue.

Is a fancy keyword ranking report more beneficial or knowing what your return on investment was? If you aren’t measuring the success of your SEO effort in terms of ROI now is the time to start.

2. Earning Links Instead of Building Them

Inbound links are going to remain the biggest signal, or vote of confidence in terms of authority and trust, that Google uses in their algorithm. This isn’t going to change. Not in 2015 and probably not in the years to come.

For the past couple of years the focus has turned to building high quality links. Well, this has evolved into a hybrid SEO-Public Relations approach, and watch for more companies to combine their SEO strategy with a more traditional PR approach moving forward.

Earning a single link on a high quality relevant website is valuable for multiple reasons including SEO, attracting referral traffic and brand exposure. Look for traditional PR and SEO to work hand-in-hand in 2015.

Click link to continue http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-long/5-things-your-seo-strateg_b_6341032.html

13 SEO mistakes that are easy to make

 

Using SEO to Your Advantage

SEO has long been used to increase a website’s visibility and there are many ways of doing this. Some of the methods are ‘approved’ and some are not so it is important to make sure that you only use ‘white hat’ methods because ‘black hat’ methods are a sure fire way of getting your site penalized or even de-indexed by the search engines.

Content is one of the key aspects of SEO and remember that the search engines are not only interested in the text, they are also interested in videos, images, infographics and animations. The spiders will crawl all over these other things to look for relevancy. It is vital to make sure that whatever content you write is excellent, has good grammar, punctuation and no spelling errors.

This leads us on to keywords and these must be used with care within the body of your text. The content must be pertinent to your niche and as such must contain relevant keywords. Do not overuse any keyword, try to vary them and place them naturally within the content.

Links have always been used but again care must be taken when using links for SEO purposes. You should do an SEO audit of your site on a regular basis so that you are aware of whether links are good enough. Remove any links that are not relevant, if necessary make use of Google’s disavow tool because poor quality irrelevant links will attract the wrong type of attention from the search engines.

Alt tags and descriptions are also important, the spiders do take note of these so check all of these on your site to make sure that they are correct and particularly for visual content, so that it can be indexed when the spiders are crawling your site. It is easy to miss the alt tags and image/video descriptions but they are actually crucial to helping get your site indexed.

Take a look at the following article for more information on this subject

Is your company operating on old SEO writing information? Are you sure? Don’t write another word until you read this post.

You know what makes my blood run cold?

Outdated and incorrect SEO copywriting tactics.

Like a virus, these bad tactics get passed around from person to person. The end result: companies are infected with bad information and do things the wrong way.

For instance, one company I worked with had an old “SEO copywriting 101″ PowerPoint that talked about keyphrase density and blasting press releases to thousands of sites. Another based their entire SEO strategy on bad information from an SEO vendor.

Ouch. That’s scary stuff.

Here are seven of the most common SEO copywriting myths I still hear about:

Keyphrase density

Will. People. Please. Let. This. Die. Just when I think the world is safe from keyphrase density percentages is when I get an email saying, “I was watching a corporate training video and the recommendation was 3.2 %. Is that still right?”

No. It’s never been right. Ignore keyphrase density. Wipe it from your mind. Let it go. Don’t you feel much better now?

Keyphrases are dead

No, keyphrases are not dead. They are still alive, kicking, and doing well. This tasty tidbit of misinformation stems from Google being much “smarter” than it used to be. Yes, Google can understand the intent of a page. But that doesn’t mean your content should be keyphrase-free. In fact, basic optimization techniques can often propel low-ranking pages to top positions.

It’s true that in today’s world, you can worry less about about exact matching the keyphrase and repeating it X times. However, you’ll still want to use keyphrases (and synonyms) in your content. Continue to research your keyphrases and use them in your body copy and your Title. Just like always. You’ll be fine.

Press releases are a great way to get links

Once upon a time, press releases were a great way to get links. You could add a some keyphrase-rich anchor text, syndicate your press release to thousands of sites and blammo–links galore!

Today’s world is much different. Spammy transactional anchor text is considered bad news.

Yes, press releases are still important. They are still a great way to build awareness, drive traffic (assuming a journalist picks up the release) and build a company’s brand. But their just-for-SEO benefit is no longer viable. And that’s OK.

There is a “right” word count for Google

There has never been a “perfect” word count for Google, no matter what the experts say. Yes, I know that some experts say that longer copy (1,500+ words) tends to position better. But that’s not the case for all copy, all the time. Nor should an arbitrary word count dictate how you write the copy.

Your best bet is to write a wide variety of content and let the subject matter dictate the length. You may want to write resource-intensive 1,500 word blog posts and 500 word services pages. That’s OK. Your main criteria should be, “am I writing this for my readers?” If you start slipping into writing things “for Google,” you’ll mess up our readers’ experience.

As a caveat, know that “thin” content (typically short and low quality posts) don’t position and can actually hurt you. You want to avoid these kinds of posts and even review past posts to make sure you don’t have any hiding on your site.

Guest posting can get you slapped with a penalty

Guest posting gets a bad rap. Once upon a time, people used to submit to every site under the sun just to score links. Did it work? Sure. Did it drive qualified traffic? Nope.

Then Google changed their stance on guest blogging. The great Google gods made it clear that guest blogging for links was no longer OK. That doesn’t mean that you can’t guest blog on quality publications your target market actually reads (that’s what I’m doing right now!). Nor does it mean that you can’t accept a guest post from a quality author. It just means you have to be picky.

You know, like people should have been in the first place.

Guest posting can drive fantastic targeted traffic. Just target your publications (and court your guest bloggers) carefully. If you’re responding to emails that say, “I’ll blog for you for free in exchange for a link back to my site,” well, you deserve what you get.

Place X number of keyphrases in your paragraphs

Just as there is no such thing as keyphrase density, there is also no “keyphrases in a paragraph” rule. If you’re writing your page correctly, some paragraphs will contain multiple keyphrases. Some paragraphs will be keyphrase-free. That’s fine.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/7-seo-copywriting-myths-will-die-01087484#qLgfB6PoSKxtbxH7.99

Further information

4 SEO mistakes that could penalize your site

How To Stay Within SEO Guidelines

As you will know, Google has been rolling out updated versions of its menagerie at regular intervals in an effort to reduce the incidences of poor quality results in searches. Their agenda has not changed, they are just narrowing down the criteria for what makes a ‘good’ link as opposed to a ‘bad’ one. The highest quality content is number one on the list and has been since the beginning of the Panda algorithm. The relevancy and quality of linking is also very high on the list and if you have not already done so, check the links to your site. Use the disavow tool to remove harmful links (those that are poor quality, not relevant, etc) and check regularly to make sure that you are not being linked to lesser sites. It is now so important to be aware of what is on your site and where you link to that ignorance is no longer acceptable.

We always recommend that you write for people not for search engines. Be careful about using keywords and key phrases, make sure that you use different versions, for instance, if you are writing about ‘how to train a dog’, keywords and phrases could include; dog trainer, canine obedience, train your dog properly and so on. This means that you are still talking about training a dog but using different ways of describing it. Whatever you write about, make sure it is relevant and that it is interesting. It must fulfill a purpose, blurb will not do. You need your visitors to enjoy your content and to share it with others. This leads to return visits as well as an increase in new traffic, which after all, is the whole point of the exercise. By all means include links but remember that these absolutely must be relevant and of a very high quality.

So, can you future proof your site? Yes, it is possible however, you do need to follow very stringent rules such as providing high quality content, careful linking and having a well rounded strategy for promoting your site. It is essential to be natural with all aspects of SEO, anything that looks even slightly dodgy will come under scrutiny which could lead to a penalty and this could lead to disaster, as some very well known sites have already had this unpleasant experience, it is not to be recommended and can be either difficult or impossible to recover from.

 

Now is a good time to dust off your (possibly outdated) SEO strategy and get it ready for the new year. Make sure it’s pointed at the right goal, and make sure that goal is understood and adopted across the entire organization: Google says the user is in charge, so — yep, you guessed it — the user is in charge!

Google’s Destination Hasn’t Changed

Many content marketers are confused about what SEO actually is today among seemingly endless changes.

Yes, SEO has changed over the years, but Google has not. Google has always been interested in providing the best results for its users. Period. SEO has only “changed” because too many internet marketers have been looking for the short-term win.

Google algorithm journey

According to Rand Fishkin, Google and SEO don’t change much.

The problem is, all those quick wins (from keyword stuffing to spammy link building) went against Google’s goal of delighting the user, actually making Google.com less appealing to the general public. Bad search results = users go to other search engines. And that hurts Google’s bottom line.

How has Google responded? Panda, Penguin, manual penalties… and the list goes on. As a result, marketers have now developed a healthy fear of going against the Google.

As 2014 draws to a close, even the most stubborn SEO professionals are being forced to recognize that there is no quick win. Google wants to provide the best user experience possible, and you can’t get that by cheating.

SEO Is No Longer A Department (Neither Is Link-Building)

If SEO is not already an integrated part of your overall marketing efforts, it’s time to change your perspective. SEO success depends on an ever-increasing variety of factors, ranging from the popularity of your brand online (whether or not there are links involved) and even to the online impact of your live events.

Solid SEO teams want and need the ability to influence policy and strategies “beyond SEO” — and that can include everything from web design and development to content marketing, marketing technology, social media, branding, PR, corporate marketing and more. Integrating and coordinating these areas with SEO isn’t an overreach – it’s a necessity. Click here to continue reading

Further information

22 must know SEO writing tips

SEO: prioritizing keywords and content