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

 

 

Mo Farah – Drug Testing – SMS Messaging and Newsjacking

You cannot have failed to notice all the ‘fuss’ about Mo Farah and drugs testing at the moment, it’s the sort of news that the press just love…

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Image by Ronnie Macdonald via Flickr

 Newsjacking

Such news items are however also a great time to do a spot of ‘Newsjacking’ where with a bit of creative thought, you can ride the wave a little and promote a relevant business or product.

So, when I listened to the news and found out, to my surprise that all athletes had to register where they would be an hour an hour a day for the next three months, AND BE SURE TO BE THERE, just in case an unannounced dope test was scheduled for then, I thought, WOW, this is just where one of the clients of SOM could really, really help out.

The client in question is FastSMS, the service they provide being SMS messaging. You will no doubt have received text messages from your Doctor, the dentist, your garage, etc reminding you of a future appointment (and if has not happened it soon will, as long as you have a mobile phone that is).

SMS Messaging in Action

Thus, when I heard that these poor athletes have to remember to be somewhere (up to three months in advance) I thought, is not this a great application for SMS Text messaging?

All you would need to do is to have a mobile phone number associated with an Athletes entry into the ‘Where I will be’ Dope Testing system and a little bit of ‘programming magic’ that sends them a text the day before saying where they ‘have to be’ tomorrow, with another 2 hrs before.

JOB DONE, I reckon, no excuses and less hassle for all.

I have had a word with FastSMS and they are looking into this right now, and will soon have a post up on their blog, they are even considering offering this service to the dope testing people at UKAD.

This is a good example of ‘NewsJacking’, in a positive manner and should be born in mind by just about any business there is….

Mo Farah put his hopes of competing at London 2012 at risk by allegedly missing two drugs tests in the buildup to the Games and was warned by his coach Alberto Salazar that “they will hang you if you miss another”.

Under World-Anti Doping rules, a third missed test within the space of 12 months is the equivalent of a failed drugs test – and so would have left Farah, who went on to take 5,000m and 10,000m gold in London, facing a minimum of a two-year ban.

According to the Daily Mail, which has seen an email exchange between the UK Anti-Doping Agency and Farah’s representatives, Farah missed one test in 2010 and another in early 2011 shortly after he had joined Salazar’s training group in Oregon..

See the full article

Getting your blog to speak volumes

We are always encouraging you to blog and to use only great content for your blog, however, you also need to optimize that content for your blog. This can be a source of great stress for some people and it can be very confusing deciding what keywords to use, how to use them, how many to use, where to place them and so the list goes on. Keywords are important and so is choosing the right ones. There can be many ways to describe something so that you can really mix your keywords up, for example, if you have an accountancy firm, you can make use of keywords such as: accountants, accountancy, accounts and accounting. You can also make use of associated terms like bookkeeping, tax returns, corporation tax, VAT and so on. If you wish to push for  more local business, using geographical terms along with the keywords will help potential customers in your region find you. Your blog is not just about promoting your business, it is about sharing information, news, tips, advice or whatever is relevant to your sector and engaging with your visitors. Here are some great tips to help you write you blog, get it noticed and keep the search engines happy to boot!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is on everyone’s lips all of the time. It is wonderful if you can write a blog article that uses sophisticated language, exciting language, and beautiful grammar and punctuation. However, it is also critical that it is optimized for the search engines. After all, people need to be able to find you.

Your approach to optimization

Sometimes, when it comes to writing, the hardest part is coming up with the first sentence. Once you have been able to come up with that first sentence, you just have to put one foot in front of the other after that and keep writing. If a blank piece of paper gives you a great deal of anxiety, you may want to create an outline from which to work or perhaps a template will work well for your blog articles. You understand that you need to blog. Not only because everyone else is doing it and their businesses are thriving but because you need to do it for the sake of your own business.

Creating a template for your blog articles

Whether you create a template for your blog articles or you get someone else to do it for you, the point is that it will make your life a whole lot easier and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t do it. The SEO part of it (no matter what anyone else says) is extremely important and always will be. So, now all you have to do is follow some pretty straightforward, simple tips that will help you tremendously. If your blog articles are optimized, you will rank higher on the search engine pages and you will be noticed much more readily online.

  • Keywords first: Your keywords and key phrases are extremely important. If you have strategically placed keywords that yield the results that you are hoping for, you will be able to accomplish all sorts of great things.
  • Pay strict attention to the size of your blog posts: Your blog posts should be between 500 and 1,000 words (although closer to 500 than 1,000). Too short isn’t good and too long will cause your readers to give up on your post. Of course, you shouldn’t worry if your blog posts end up being longer than you thought they would be.
  • Always include anchor text terms: Anchor text is a key phrase that hyperlinks to your website. The concept is that you are planting an “anchor” that is connected to your website. After all, once you have gotten the person to visit your website, you can woo them properly.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/blogging/optimizing-blog-articles-seo-0937593#ZxI8fW3jv31tf1CD.99

Further information

What is off-page SEO and how to use it

SEO should not be held to an ROI target

How to create quality content that is optimized

As we often say, only ever release high quality content to your blog or website but there is more to successful SEO than that. Write for a human audience not for search engine spiders, it is the people who are going to appreciate what you have written, they are going to share it with their friends and/or followers on social media and the search engines do take notice of this as well. It is important to intersperse keywords within the fabric of the text so that it reads well for the humans and that there is something for the spiders to latch onto. Be careful with your keywords, use as many variations as you can for instance, if you are talking about accountancy, you can use a variety of words and phrases that are pertinent to the subject so that it is interesting to read for both humans and spiders. There are several steps to creating great content which is also optimized. Take a look at the following article for some great advice.

 

The content explosion and the search engines’ shift toward meaning-based content in 2013 has led to a tipping of the scales in the opposite direction from where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was before Panda and Penguin.

Gone are the days of black hat practices like keyword stuffing and paid linking schemes that resulted in a bad user experience and little focus on content quality.

While the increased focus on quality has created a better user experience, now the challenge of the marketer is to integrate SEO best practices into the content creation process.

User-friendly content must also be easy to find, and that means including SEO in every step of the process.

Because investments in content are growing at a record pace, the pressure for online marketers to show increased returns are heightened. And with organic search as a leading source of traffic for many marketers, streamlining the content creation process while optimizing for search is a business necessity.

In other words, the content must be optimized for the user as well as the search engines before it is even published.

The Integrated Approach To SEO

The integration of search engine needs and user needs means that the SEO has to be involved at every step of the content creation process. Here’s how SEO-focused thinking can be applied to the primary steps of content creation:

1. Understand User Needs & Behavior

How do users search for the type of content you offer, and in what volume?

Keyword research early on in the process will help focus content creation efforts, preventing the wasted effort of creating content for low-volume keywords. Keyword research hits the sweet spot in your content creation efforts by finding the balance between users’ product-related needs, the product offerings, and how users actually search the web. Click here to read on

Further reading

Planning a content strategy with SEO in mind

Deep SEE diving for SEO bloggers

 

Prevent your blog from becoming stale

Business blogs are an important part of your online presence and it may be that you have run out of steam with your blog. You might be thinking that there are only so many things you can blog about where your business is concerned however, if you can find a way to rejuvenate your blog, you could find that it inspires your followers. Take a look at fresh ideas or revisit past subjects and put a fresh light on them. You blog needs to keep visitors interested and if you are losing interest, there is no doubt, your followers will also be losing interest. So, lets get some oomph back into your blog, be positive and inspire.

Have you hit a wall in your business blogging?  Does it seem like your readers are no longer interested?  It’s ok to admit that your blogging efforts have become a bit stale; just as in life- in blogging there is always room for improvements.  Read on to discover 4 creative yet simple ways to turn your business blogging around, wake up your readers and even capture some new ones.

Stop Pushing Back Publishing

You know you need to blog but unfortunately that’s not the only demand your business is barking at you.  Customers, employees and vendors have much louder voices than your blogging platform.  It’s understandable then that when Friday afternoon rolls around you can usually find yourself scrambling to produce some kind- any kind of post.

These issues are not going to disappear and no one is expecting you to make a business blog your top priority.  However it’s safe to admit that scrambled Friday post is coming up as anything but inspired.  Turn things around by simply jotting quick notes at the end of each day (you could even text them to yourself).

Your notes should comment on that day’s specific challenge, customer complaints that you had to deal with or issues that your employees wanted you to address.  A quick activity like this will ensure that when it is time to post, you already have a list of relevant ideas and inspirations to work with.

Drawing from your own experience will not only make for insightful posts, but it will also help you connect with your online audience.  Readers are on the lookout for both personality and personal insights.  Being willing to share parts of yourself with readers affords them the opportunity to get to know you- and hopefully to grow to like and trust you.  Not to mention, personal insight ensures unique content as no other online platform can duplicate your specific experience.

Click here to continue reading

Further information

How do I become more efficient at blogging

What LinkedIn’s new blogging tool means for your business

3 important parts of SEO

At Serendipity Online Marketing, we are always encouraging you to provide quality content for your sites and blogs, obtaining good backlinks and make use of social media where appropriate. These 3 things are essential for keeping your website in the organic rankings and if you are a business owner, your site has to be noticed and listed by the search engines. Remember to write your content for human readers, it must be engaging for visitors to read, this will not only encourage them to return to your site but it also means that they will be inclined to share it with others and this in turn leads to increased traffic. The increase in traffic will be noticed by Google and this will increase your standing. Staying within the rules of Google’s algorithms cannot be stressed highly enough, any transgressions will be severely punished, as many have found to their cost so, play by the rules and you will see the benefits.

Two of the main components of a strong SEO strategy are the same as they has always been: to publish high-quality content that gets read and linked to by as many people as possible (ie, quality content and inbound links).

But in 2014, a third key element will join the ranks of these two elements: social media. I touted social media as one of the three key elements of SEO for 2013, but over the course of the year, my experience has been that most business owners still haven’t gotten the message. I’m still constantly asked why and how social media benefits an online marketing campaign, which leads me to believe that social media, while definitely a buzzword recognized by most business owners, hasn’t yet been adopted to the extent that it needs to be.

While social media has been a factor in the ranking algorithm for years, the community has been reluctant to officially adopt social media as a key role within SEO campaigns.

Social media wasn’t around when SEO first developed into an industry, but it’s now pervasive across all industries and our culture; and it provides the means to increase shareability, distribution, and reach. This, in turn, provides readers and search engines alike with new metrics by which to measure quality (ie, quantity of shares and mentions in each social media channel, which are both easily measurable). As a result, “social signals” are now the fastest-rising search engine ranking factor, and business owners that fail to recognize this will be left in the dust by their competitors that do.

Click here to continue reading

Further reading

How to write content for SEO, Google and Marketing

SEO = relevance and reputation

Guest Blogging and Google’s New Guidelines

There is quite a bit of chatter about at the moment following Matt Cutt’s statement saying the ‘Guest Blogging is Dead’. As you can imagine, this has led to a lot of head scratching, as Guest Blogging has been used as a substitute for Article marketing (which as similarly seen a ‘don’t bother’ statement by Google) for some time now.

With the above in mind I came across this blog (via an email) and thought it well worth sharing:-

When it comes to guest blogging for SEO, quite a few people are pretty ticked off at Matt Cutts right now. After all, he just declared that guest blogging is a Very Bad Thing for webmasters, and stated that you should stop doing it.

Right?

Well, not quite.

Too hear most SEOs talk about it, you’d think that’s exactly what he just said. But Cutts actually made an important (and really not all that subtle) distinction between two different types of guest blogging. Once you know the difference between the two, you can decide for yourself if guest blogging is still a good choice for your business.

The Kind of Guest Blogging Google Doesn’t Like

What kind of guest blogging doesn’t Google like? Here is the short list:

Guest blog posts with “dofollow” links.
Blog posts that involve an exchange of money for dofollow links.
Blog posts that involve an exchange of money for any other contextual links.
Blog posts that in any other way violate Google’s quality guidelines.
Blog posts that pass pagerank (i.e. those with dofollow links, as noted above).

In other words, guests posts done purely for the sake of SEO are straight out. So are any guest posts that simply look like they might be done for pure SEO’s sake.

That doesn’t mean that guest blogs can’t help your SEO anymore. It just means that they won’t do so directly. As you know, Google takes in increasingly more factors when assigning rankings.

So what is guest blogging still good for, and how can it still help your rankings?

They went on to give some more interesting facts (you’ll have to see the full article for this) and also went on to say:-

How to Guest Blog after Matt Cutts’ Proclamation

So how is an honest business person supposed to practice guest blogging in 2014 onward?

Only guest blog with people you already know and trust.
Don’t guest blog with people you barely know.
Don’t guest blog for money, nor let someone else do it.
Don’t engage in the practice with businesses or firms that write to you out of the blue.
Do feel free to add “rel=nofollow” links in your guest posts.
Share via social media.

This last point is becoming increasingly more important. In an age where Google seems to be valuing links less and less, what does it use to count the way readers “vote” with their attention?

I cannot agree more with the latter point, Social Media does seem to be really effective in improving rankings, several of the sites we are working on having seen more sales because of the improved rankings the Social Media signals we have created have delivered.

 

Making your business blog interesting for both humans and spiders

We all know that blogging is important to increasing a business’s online profile however, for many business owners, what to put in the actual content can be difficult. A business blog is not like a personal blog, it is not the place to express yourself, it is a place to give your followers an insight into your niche or products. It is important to write your blog for human readers rather than for the search engine spiders so that the visitor is rewarded with interesting and well written articles. You can optimize these articles and integrate keywords and key phrases within the body of the text so that the spiders are interested in your blog as well. Usually, the point of a business blog is to draw traffic to the main site which will help to increase business. So, here is some advice on how to try and achieve this.

One of the biggest myths about blogging is that it’s simply a way to express yourself or communicate your thoughts to the world. While there are certainly many people who blog for this reason, in the business world, blogs serve a more strategic purpose and can be incredibly powerful tools for attracting visitors to your website.

Why is website visitor traffic important?

With more than 2.2 billion people online, the internet has truly revolutionized the way that companies do business. Gone are the days of flipping through the yellow pages. Now, when we need something – whether that something is a product or a service – we go online and search. In fact, Google has analyzed the vast amount of data from online searches to determine that the average consumer looks at 10 pieces of online information before they make a purchase and buyers get about 70% of the way through their research process before they are willing to have contact with a sales person.

As a business, your website is like your home base in the online world. It is the only place where you have complete control over how your brand is portrayed (in the marketing world, we call this “owned media”). With all those people out there searching for information online, your goal should be to get the ones who are searching for your products or services to find and visit your site.

Why is this so important? If your potential buyers are online looking for information, and your site provides that information or answers their questions, it greatly increases the chances that when they are ready to buy, they will buy from you.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/optimizing-blog-seo-0759934#6kHAWhBA1GKVjsE2.99

Further information

Stop writing for the machine

Google & Bing agree: past SEO success guarantees you nothing today

Is there still a place for guest blogging?

Guest blogging has been a popular way of finding new and interesting content and when it has been well written, it is beneficial to everyone. However, guest blogging has become a target for the spammers with their poor quality content who just want to get links, often to equally poor quality sites. Google’s Matt Cutts has called time on guest blogging and is discouraging website owners from going down this route. All is not lost however, there are many high ranking sites in the search engines that accept very well written guest posts and it is highly unlikely that they will stop accepting submissions that are of such a high standard. This is the key, posts must be of a very high standard and if you do accept them, make sure you do some checks on the sites that will be linking to yours so that they are of  a similar quality to your own and that they are relevant to your niche. Here is some more information on this subject.

Relax, publications that use guest bloggers and contributors. Google’s not planning to penalize you under its new “guest blogging equals spam” warning put out yesterday. Rather, the company says, guest blogging is only bad if the main reason a post is run is to gain links meant to influence rankings in Google.

Yesterday, the head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts declared that “guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.” As a result, some worried that having guest posts meant they could look forward to a future of being penalized by Google.

Worries That All Guest Posts Are Bad

One especially notable example was award-winning science fiction author Charles Stross, who wrote on Hacker News:

I’m spending three weeks on the road in the next month, so I’ve got three hand-picked guest bloggers taking over the mike on my site, for the duration. Emphasis on hand-picked, i.e. invited because they’re interesting and I’m hoping my readers will enjoy what they’ve got to say.I get to take some time off, they get access to a new audience, and the audience get some new and thought-provoking material — because from my PoV it’s not about SEO, it’s all about the quality of the content. (Hint: I’m a novelist, one of the guests is a film-maker, the other two are other novelists. We all pretty much live or die by the quality of our writing.)

Guest Posts For More Than SEO Are OK

To deal with such concerns, Cutts updated the title of his post to add the bolded words:

The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEOHe also added more explanation to stress that not all guest blogging is bad:

I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.Click here to continue reading http://marketingland.com/google-clarifies-guest-blogging-71201

Further information

Matt Cutts: ‘stick a fork in it, guest blogging is done’

Matt Cutts pronounces guest blogging dead, is it true?

Driving traffic to your blog

If you have a blog, you will probably want to drive more traffic to it. There are now more opportunities than ever to enable you to do this, that does not mean that it is easy but it is something that is definitely worth while investing the time and effort to do. It is important to find ways that suit you and that will lead the right audience to your blog so that those who are really interested in what you have to say get the chance to see, enjoy and perhaps leave comments. This sort of interaction is key to running a successful blog site and all the most popular blogs have many followers who interact regularly with the author and other visitors.

If you want to attract a strong readership for your blog, it’s obvious that you need to create great content. But that’s not sufficient: amazing content that doesn’t get read might as well not exist. To build a thriving blog, you also need to learn to drive traffic to it.

So what methods do the experts use? We’ve compiled a list of 13 tried and true ways to build your audience.

  1. Incorporate social influencers into your blog posts (where relevant). Writing about, say, social media? If you cite a prominent example like Gary Vaynerchuk, it’s a win-win: your post has more credibility because you’ve cited a specific example, and the thought leader in question may be inclined to promote the blog among his or her communities, since it mentions them favorably. Same goes for any niche community, whether you’re citing socially-savvy surfers or sushi chefs.

  2. Add a link to your latest article in your Twitter bio and ask for retweets. Use your Twitter “real estate” by linking to your latest article in your Twitter bio. You can also drive social sharing by specifically asking others to retweet it. (If you create huge amounts of content, you can’t do this all the time, but it’s powerful when used sparingly.) Indeed, a study by Social Bakers of thousands of brands on Twitter found that users who asked their followers to “RT” their tweet received 73.48 average retweets per tweet. Compare that with just 2.09 retweets for those without a call-to-action.

  3. Send your article out in a blast email or newsletter to your contacts. If you have an e-newsletter (and it’s still one of the most powerful marketing tools today), include links to your blog posts. Your subscribers already like what you do; this nudge can remind them to check out your blog. Click here to continue reading

Further reading

How to promote and drive traffic to your blog

10 ways to increase your business blog traffic