Subscribe: Search Engine Guide : Small Business Search Marketing
http://feeds.feedburner.com/searchengineguide
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
brand  content  google  keywords  make  people  search engine  search  seo  site  social media  social  time  traffic 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Search Engine Guide : Small Business Search Marketing

Search Engine Guide : Small Business Search Marketing



Search engine marketing news and information you can use to grow your business.



Last Build Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:33:10 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2017
 



How to Write Better Content for a Mobile Workforce

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:33:10 -0600

by Jayson DeMers If you want your content marketing campaign to be successful, you need to make sure it appeals to your target audience, both to achieve higher relevance for strategies like SEO, and to better hold attention from readers. If your target audience is made up of professionals, that means catering to industry considerations, including offering instructions, news, practical advice, and other materials that can improve their performance in a given niche.But professional audiences are evolving, using new technologies, working in different environments, and developing new demands. For example, according to Dialpad, only 19 percent of full-time workers spend 40 hours or more behind a desk per week. Our workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, working remotely and on the go, and our content needs to change to reflect that shift.How to Write Better Content for a Mobile WorkforceThere are three major changes to consider when brainstorming new content:Mobile devices are smaller and offer a different UI. As you've undoubtedly experienced in your own life, mobile devices tend to have smaller screens and more limited forms of interaction than laptops. This reduces the mobile experience and forces you to consider narrower, more precise forms of content engagement.Mobile workers have less time. If a worker is constantly mobile, they're probably traveling from meeting to meeting and trying to fit everything into a tight schedule. That means they have less time and are looking for content to meet their needs quickly. As Content Marketing Institute points out, some of the best performing mobile content is also the fastest and easiest to read.Mobile workers research immediate needs. When you consult your mobile device, it's probably for something you need immediately. Otherwise, it could wait until you were at a formal work station. That means your topics and your tone should be geared toward solving a problem as quickly as possible.Tips for ImprovementSo how can you take action to address these considerations? Optimize for mobile devices. Your site should already be optimized for mobile devices; if you aren't sure, you can always run a check using Google's mobile-friendly tool. Your site should be responsive, meaning it adapts based on the size and shape of the device viewing it, and all your content should load quickly and easily. In addition, all your text should be clearly legible without having to scroll or zoom. This is a basic prerequisite if you want your content to be engaging.Choose helpful topics. Your mobile workforce isn't as interested in reading high-level concepts; they want fast, practical tips. The more useful your content is, the better, so spend some time coming up with topics that are helpful for your audience. How-to guides, step-by-step troubleshooting, and tutorials are all good ideas here.Write more concisely. According to the Purdue OWL, concise writing is a way to choose the most effective, efficient combination of words in your article. Writing more concisely doesn't necessarily mean using fewer words; however, that's often a side effect of the process. Go through your articles and eliminate any language that is redundant or unnecessary to achieve a complete understanding of your intended meaning. This will help your audience read through your content faster, getting to the point of your article rather than dwelling on the fluff.Create more videos and visual content. Visual content is naturally more engaging, thanks to its appeal to our intuitive senses, rather than processed thought. According to Hubspot, the inclusion of a video can increase a page's likelihood to convert by 80 percent or more, and videos are much faster and easier to engage with than a written article on mobile devices. That doesn't mean you need to create videos instead of written articles, but you should consider including them more frequently--whether they're standalone content submissions or embedded enhancements in your core written material.Make your text stand out. [...]



How Accurately Can You Predict the Results of an SEO Campaign?

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 11:36:45 -0600

by Jayson DeMers If you're thinking about launching an SEO campaign, one of your biggest concerns is going to be whether it will yield a positive ROI ... and how fast you can make it happen. If you're planning a campaign for a client, you'll also want to be able to estimate your effectiveness as a selling point. But is it possible to estimate or predict SEO results with any accuracy? Why SEO Results are So Hard to PredictAs you're well aware, the SEO industry is extremely variable. Not only can Google push activity in an entirely new direction with little more than a simple algorithm update, but trying to figure out what the search engines want often seems like trying to shoot a moving target.There are plenty of signs that suggest how you might proceed, but you aren't likely to stumble upon the perfect solution.Herein lies the problem. As an SEO specialist, you have a fairly advanced grasp of what does and doesn't work, but many factors remain outside of your control.You can make all the right moves, but at some point, you have to let events happen on their own and trust that the process will unfold according to your plan. In addition, you have to assume there won't be any significant changes between the moment you execute and the period when the results start to pour in. "SEO is highly technical and creative at the same time. You can't just follow a formula and expect to get the same results every single time," explains Kyle Sanders of CWR SEO. "As any experienced professional in this industry knows, every campaign deals with a unique set of factors. It would be foolish and irresponsible to make wide, overarching projections when there's so much variance."It's not just the search engines that shift over time, though. You also have to consider the butterfly effect of content popularity.One small, uncontrollable alteration in the marketplace can have an outsized impact on the type of content that will be most effective thereafter. Thus, while you might be able to design a stellar SEO campaign around a promising set of keywords and topics, only a small shift could suddenly transform your best predictions into anyone's guess.Obviously, there will be factors outside of your control, but that doesn't mean you can't make any predictions. Clients have a right to request an estimate and hold you to it. After all, they're paying for a service and expect value. Your mission is to tap into your experience and don't make promises you can't keep.SEO thought leader Stephan Spencer likens SEO to a fitness routine. It's possible to create a plan, but everyone's body responds differently.You can tell someone that he or she will lose weight by burning more calories than the person consumes, but specific steps will still have to be executed and results may vary depending on such details as metabolism, body type, and age.Furthermore, in order for the desirable results to be achieved, you have to stick to the routine and take it slow.Four Tips for Estimating Results as Best You CanRefusing to offer predictions probably isn't an option. When a client asks you to project future results, you should be prepared to provide an informed answer. The essential strategy is to proceed with caution and avoid making promises you can't possibly keep. Here are a few tips that many in the SEO industry have found helpful over the years:1. Focus on Achievable Goals"As with your own personal fitness, often it is best to focus on small, achievable goals that are right in front of you. Doing so allows progress to happen, less inhibited by the constant worry of where you are in comparison to the mountain of work ahead of you," Spencer says."Instead of trying to succeed at SEO with a single herculean effort, you can create something great, measure its performance, and then create another starting point from which to continue improving." In other words, don't bite off more than you can chew.When you break the SEO campaign down into digestible bits for your client, you can make more accurate predictions and enjoy plenty of small "win[...]



Which Is More Important: Technical SEO or Reputation Management?

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 13:09:16 -0600

by Jayson DeMers There are many moving pieces in an SEO campaign, but only a handful of broad categories of tactics to use regularly. For example, most people intuitively group tactics into the categories of on-site optimization and off-site optimization, which are clearly defined by whether a given tactic takes place on your site or somewhere else. But there are different dimensions to consider as well--for example, you can think of a split between technical SEO and reputation management tactics.Which of these are more important to the success of your overall campaign?Reputation ManagementReputation management, as the name suggests, is all about building up your brand's image online. This could involve a number of tactics, including the publication of valuable content on other websites, the promotion of your brand name and image, and the establishment of personal relationships with your customers.For example, MediaOne suggests optimizers create LinkedIn Groups and post regularly to enhance their reputation; not only will you gain more social followers, you'll also earn backlinks and establish ground for publishing content in the future.There are a number of benefits to these tactics:Brand visibility and recognition. Obviously, your reputation will grow with reputation management tactics. More people will see your brand, you'll rank higher for branded searches (and see more of them), and the visitors you attract will be more acquainted with your business. That means higher click-throughs for all your rankings, and more conversions when they get to your site.Backlinks. Reputation building is also a good way to earn more inbound links. If people read your content and value it, they'll be more likely to link to you as a credible source, which will boost your domain authority.Guest posting and future potential. Building your reputation also opens the door to bigger and more authoritative publishers for guest posting opportunities. These give you immediate benefits of brand visibility and inbound links, but also a path to even better opportunities in the future.Technical SEO Technical SEO, on the other hand, is all about making precise adjustments to your site to improve its visibility in search engines. Here, you could update your site's code to be cleaner and easier to crawl, target specific keywords and include them in your page titles and meta descriptions, and even rebuild different areas of your site.For example, QuickSprout notes the importance of user retention, and encourages optimizers to make tweaks to their websites so they load faster and preserve a worthwhile user experience.There are several benefits here:Real search visibility. Google can't rank your site if its search engine bots can't see it. Your biggest priority with technical SEO is making sure that search engines are able to process your site to index and display it accurately.Precise targeting. Technical SEO also gives you the ability to make and reach for precise targets. You'll have the opportunity to research various keywords and keyword phrases, and reorganize your site to rank for them.Troubleshooting. If something goes wrong with your site, technical SEO will give you the tools to analyze the problem and eventually correct it.The Problems With One Over AnotherAfter reading this far, you may intrinsically favor one over the other. However, there's a problem with identifying one set of tactics as "better" or "more important." If you focus exclusively on technical SEO, you won't have the opportunity to develop your brand reputation; you may slowly climb the ranks for a handful of specific keyword terms, but your visitors will be apathetic to your brand, and you won't grow nearly as quickly without reputation management.On the other hand, if you ignore technical SEO and focus only on reputation management, you could overlook a key fixture that's necessary for search engine visibility. For example, you might update your robots.txt file incorrectly or accidentally make your site uncrawlable. Yo[...]



How Voice Search Is Changing (and Why Your SEO Strategy Needs to Adapt)

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:23:52 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Voice search has been around for longer than most people realize. It feels like the technology has only been around for a couple of years, but in reality, Google voice search first came out in 2002. We think of it as a recent development because only recently have algorithms begun to solve the biggest problems with voice search, including accurately detecting spoken syllables, generating results in an intuitive way, and of course, encouraging mass user adoption.Now that voice search is popular with a much wider user base and its technological sophistication is accelerating, we're going to see some major evolutions in the next few years. If you want to get ahead of the competition and reap the rewards for your brand, now's the time to start adapting your SEO strategy accordingly.What Changes to ExpectSo how is voice search about to evolve?1. Better semantic recognition and filtering.First up, voice search algorithms are going to get better at detecting what people are saying, and translating user intent into a query that yields them the results they want. For example, if a user mispronounces something, uses slang terms, users local vernacular, or otherwise distorts a query with these tiny quirks, a better voice search algorithm could infer what they're trying to search for and give them recommended results accordingly. This will facilitate even more widespread adoption and help centralize searches around keyword phrases. Google RankBrain already does this, to some extent, for typed searches, so voice search is the next logical jump.2. Emotional inflection detection.According to Dialpad, one reason the human voice is so powerful is because of its ability to carry emotional inflection. This is why it's easier to tell when someone's joking in conversation than it is through text or email. The next generation of voice search software may be able to pick up on a person's emotional inflection to provide them with better results. For example, a sense of urgency may route someone to faster, more immediate service providers, or a sense of apprehension could connect a user with anonymous service or results for newcomers to a given subject.3. More personalized results.In any case, all technologies are becoming more individualized and personalized, and voice-based search results are no exception. Most voice search programs are tied to personal digital assistants, which are already getting better at analyzing individuals' needs. Expect more intuitive adjustments for personal search preferences, search histories, and immediate factors, like a person's location.4. More display and interface options.One problem with voice search is the lack of an easy interface on which to view results. Most people use voice search on mobile devices, which have limited screen space, so one innovation to come could be a broader range of interface options. Since it's unlikely that one solution will work best for everyone, it's more likely that different providers will generate different possibilities, which means a host of potential SERP scenarios to prepare for.5. Integration with other tech.According to Morgan Stanley, half of America's jobs will be replaced by robots and AI programs within the next 20 years. AI and smart home technology are going to take over consumers' lives, and most of these options will need some mechanism to drive their operations. In this way, voice search--and voice commands--will likely become more tightly integrated into our world, which could extend search optimization to even more practical, physical areas.How to PrepareMake sure your strategy is prepared for the future of voice search by adopting these strategies (if you haven't already):Use more conversational language. If people search more with casual conversation, it pays to use conversational language in your writing. Develop more answers to common consumer questions, and don't shy away from using vernacular and informal language unless it hurts your brand in some way[...]



The 4 Types of Website Traffic to Watch in Google Analytics

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:55:17 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Creating and managing a website is a big step for a business, but just having a website isn't enough. Establishing a web presence on the web is equivalent to constructing a building for your business in the real world; you can make it pretty on the outside and pretty on the inside, but that doesn't guarantee any foot traffic, and it certainly doesn't guarantee any patronage.If you're going to maximize the revenue potential of your site, you need to understand who's coming to your site, why they're coming to your site, and what you can do to increase those numbers. Fortunately, Google's free Analytics platform gives you these kinds of insights in great detail. But you still need to know what you're looking at.There are tons of different metrics to track in Analytics, and it can be confusing if you're a first-timer. Instead of trying to learn all the details immediately, narrow your scope to observing patterns in the Acquisition tab--this is going to tell you where your traffic is coming from. Here, you'll find four major sources of traffic, from which you can gather valuable insights about your site:1. Direct Traffic.Direct traffic is measured by visitors who visit your site without any online source directing them to it. For example, if a user types in your URL directly or calls upon it from a stored bookmark, it's considered a direct visit. Direct visits generally come from one of a few types of consumers--they could be people who heard about your brand offline, repeat visitors who wanted to come back, or even your internal staff checking the site for errors (though you can filter this last segment out entirely for more accurate data). You can improve this traffic by increasing repeat visits and stepping up your brand awareness efforts offline, though as you might imagine, the offsite route is a bit less efficient than other methods.2. Organic Traffic.Organic traffic refers to inbound visitors who found your site through search engines. Any traffic from Bing, Google, and other search sites is counted in this data. This is most useful for practitioners of SEO, who use content, links, and other strategies to increase their likelihood of ranking high for various relevant searches--higher organic traffic generally means greater success with the strategy. However, branded searches also count toward this total. If your site is new, this figure will undoubtedly be low, but you can increase this number by optimizing your site, producing regular content, establishing relationships with outside authorities, and getting active on social media. It takes time to develop the domain authority necessary to earn this type of traffic, but it can be a lucrative source in the long term.3. Referral Traffic.Referral traffic accumulates any visits that came from outside sources. If links to your site are available on external sources, users can follow those links to find your site. Link building in SEO (or through guest posting) are valuable for this. You might also earn links from local directories or industry directories, provided you submit your information to them. Getting a link published on a high-profile source with tons of traffic can route significant droves of users to your site, but the more valuable a link is, the harder it is to get. Keep a close eye on your link development strategy to increase referral traffic--you might also consider placing affiliate links, which cost a bit of extra money but can be valuable opportunities for getting new traffic. Some links might even crop up naturally if outside sites choose to cite your information--click into the Referral traffic section to see exactly which sources are generating the most traffic to your site.4. Social Traffic.Last but not least is social traffic, which can refer to any inbound users from social media sites. The more active you are on social media and the more attractive your links are (think about providing value to users rather than adverti[...]



9 Tips for Artists Looking for More Search Visibility

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:42:35 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Most artists these days maintain a website to sell their services, or at least a blog to show their work. But it's hard to earn new commissions and work opportunities -- whether in the form of a music gig or audience at an art show -- unless you can generate a steady stream of traffic to your site.There are many viable ways to earn such traffic. For example, you can pay for advertising, or build a social media audience first. There's usually a downside, however: Paying for advertising requires upfront capital that most artists don't have, and building a social media audience can be an unpredictable and even counterproductive mission.The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) AdvantageSearch engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best strategies for additional visibility, and that goes for artists, too. It's fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to outright advertising; it doesn't require a base following to start; it requires no formal expertise (at least, again, in the beginning); and it has the potential to grow your traffic exponentially -- both in a local area and on a national basis.Higher search rankings will almost always result in higher inbound traffic. So as long as your site's content and conversion rates are in order, attention to SEO is going to lead to greater interest in your services.Tips for Artists and MusiciansSo how can an artist make the most of this strategy? In addition to following standard best practices for SEO, you'll particularly want to employ the following tactics:1. Declare a niche for yourself.Make sure you have a dedicated, specific niche that you serve, and be as specific as possible. This specificity will ensure you don't have much competition. For example, if you knit blankets, don't just optimize for terms such as "knitted blankets"; get more specific with terms like "custom knitted blankets for newborns" or "knitted blankets with nerdy design."2. Make your services clear on dedicated pages.Dedicated pages with associated keyword terms aren't as essential as they used to be, but they're still valuable for artists and musicians. Most people are going to be searching for your goods based on the type of service you're performing, so keep at least one or two pages that have rich content focused on what you actually do.3. Use a personal brand.Even if you have a regular brand (such as a dedicated store for your products or a band name), you'll want to use a personal brand in conjunction with it. A personal brand will help you increase the visibility of your content, and increase the appeal of your business for prospective customers.4. Keep your branding consistent.No matter what you're doing -- whether it's on your own site, a publisher's site, or social media -- keep your branding consistent. Sooner or later, people will search for you by name, so you'll want to keep all your brand names and identity signatures as consistent and recognizable as possible over the long run.5. Write about your trade.People are always interested in learning arts, crafts, and music, so take the time to write a blog about your trade. Don't necessarily give away the "secret sauce," but you should go out of your way to share your knowledge and expertise. This will make your content highly shareable and visible, which is an easy shortcut to getting more backlinks for your page (and therefore more domain authority to boost your rankings).6. Incorporate multimedia content.You're an artist, so show off the goods! Make sure you're incorporating plenty of examples of multi-media content on your site, including images, video, and sound clips. Optimize these features with appropriate titles and description tags so they can easily be found through search.7. Network with other artists.Get to know other local artists, and network with them online. Work on sharing one another's content, and cross-pollinate your social media followings (especially if you serve compleme[...]



The Relationship Between Marketing Automation and SEO

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 10:54:45 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Marketing automation platforms and SEO are often discussed in the same breath, but they have somewhat of a tumultuous relationship. Some say marketing automation platforms can hurt SEO if you aren't careful, while others believe it's complementary. What's the real answer?Understanding the Relationship"Your business is like a bar stool," digital marketing consultant Jon Rognerud says. "Take any one of the four legs out and it will fall over. Strangely, most businesses are like a three legged stool."What does Rognerud mean by this? Well, he admits that most successful businesses have a great product, good salespeople, and a team that understands exactly what their target market needs. However, the fourth and most important leg is missing: lead generation.Lead generation is typically missing because it's scary, intimidating, and there are so many different options to choose from. There's SEO, social media, content marketing, paid advertising, and an entire suite of other specialties.Over the past few years, software known as "marketing automation" has risen to prominence. As the name suggests, its goal is to automate various marketing actions that are seen as repetitive. These include social media, email, and various website actions. The problem is that many companies have invested in marketing automation without understanding how it really fits into the larger digital marketing picture. Specifically, they're viewing it as totally separate and unrelated to SEO. As a result, thousands of businesses resemble unbalanced three legged stools that could topple at any given moment. To understand this imbalance, you have to start by reviewing the conversion funnel. While there are many different versions of the conversion funnel, we'll use the very basic example that follows a three-tiered progression of Awareness > Evaluation > Conversion. In this example, awareness is at the top of the funnel, evaluation is in the middle, and conversion is at the bottom. When a company invests in marketing automation, they're nailing down the middle of the funnel. While this is great, the problem is that many of these companies haven't done anything to address the top of the funnel. The result is something like an inverted hourglass. The middle of the funnel is prepared, but there's nothing going on at the top of the funnel to bring leads in. When does marketing automation fall short? "When there's no top-of-the-funnel foundation put in place to support middle of the funnel marketing automation," HubSpot explains. "Many marketers invest in marketing automation before they have fertile ground for advanced lead nurturing campaigns to blossom. Marketers won't have the ingredients they need for effective marketing automation until they have both a steady flow of organic leads coming through the funnel."This is where SEO enters the picture. While SEO touches multiple points in the funnel, it's largely a top-of-the-funnel tool for reaching customers who are searching for your products and services in the awareness stage. In order to get the most out of both SEO and marketing automation, the two must work in harmony with one another. SEO allows you to make the most out of your marketing automation investment while marketing automation ensures your SEO leads don't go to waste. Five Important Crossover PointsWithout further ado, let's check out some of the specific crossover points where marketing automation and SEO complement each other for maximum benefit. 1. Closed-Loop ROI TrackingAre you familiar with closed-loop return on investment (ROI) tracking? This tracking allows you to see the revenue each keyword produces over a specific period of time. It's essentially the measuring stick by which you gauge how profitable it is to focus on individual search terms."With marketing automation, closed-loop ROI tracking tracks every lead, giving you the ability to attach ea[...]



6 Ways to Optimize for Searches Other Than Google

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:53:37 -0600

by Jayson DeMers When people think about search engine optimization, they usually want to know how to make their site rank higher in Google. Every business has a website and Google is responsible for two-thirds of all searches online... so if you're going to rank for one search engine, it should be Google.But Google isn't the only search engine that people use, and it's not the only one worth optimizing for -- especially if you serve a particular niche or operate within a certain industry that may generate traffic from another angle.Alternatives for OptimizationDepending on your line of work, you might wish to include these search alternatives in your optimization strategy:1. Amazon.As BigCommerce explains, Amazon's number-one goal is to make buyers happy -- which means giving them more of what they want, and a better experience overall. To begin with, how you optimize your product listings plays a huge role in how you'll turn up in search. Make sure to fill out all categories, tags, titles, and descriptions as fully and accurately as possible, so you'll be viewed as a relevant entry. From there, your best bet is to garner lots of validations. For example, you'll want to amass inbound links that point to your product, and you'll require lots of positive reviews from users to earn higher rankings.2. eBay.This site works much the same way Amazon does, so it's an excellent target for optimization. Your product descriptions and images will play a huge role in your rankings, as well as your seller rating and reputation. Because the listings are more temporary, though, links won't help you as much here.3. YouTube.According to Search Engine Watch, the best YouTube optimization strategies start with keyword research: You'll create and name your videos according to YouTube's most popular searches. Make sure all your videos are named concisely and accurately, and pay the same level of attention to your categories, tags, and channel descriptions. The number of likes, comments, and views you attract also plays into your ranking, so encourage your audience to participate in these areas.4. Etsy.This is one of the few online marketplaces that goes out of its way to help sellers optimize their listings. Ideal for crafters and artists, Etsy encourages sellers to choose strong keywords, optimize their shop titles and descriptions, and earn plenty of backlinks for their products (not to mention maintaining a good reputation in the community).5. Bing.Google still dominates, but Bing is making a respectable effort, and currently gets more than 20 percent of all searches on the web. Bing comes as a default with most Microsoft products (because it is one of them). As a result, it tends to be more popular with older demographics. If you're targeting older populations, this makes it a key tool for optimization. Bing works in much the same way Google does, but with a few differences: It doesn't favor backlinks as heavily, it prefers old, established content to fresh material, and it's a bit more literal when it comes to keywords and titles.6. DuckDuckGo.According to Neil Patel, DuckDuckGo's greatest advantage is the privacy it offers to users. It doesn't track or keep user search history the way Google does, so if you want to optimize for it, you'll have to take a different approach. DuckDuckGo users are concerned about their privacy, so if that sounds like your target demographic type, focus on semantic search queries on a national level. DuckDuckGo's local search isn't as robust, but it does try to intuit user intention the way Google and Bing do.How to Decide What's Worth Optimizing ForIf you've looked at this list and wondered how you'll find time to optimize for all of them, relax. Not all businesses will benefit from optimizing for all these channels. You only need to focus on the two or three -- or possibly just one -- that best suits you and you[...]



5 SEO Strategies You Can Implement in Real Life

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:57:09 -0600

by Jayson DeMers For the most part, everything you need for search engine optimization (SEO) can be completed online. There are two main areas of optimization to worry about: on-site optimization, which is the ongoing publication of content that introduces new material to your site, and off-site optimization, which involves building relationships and links that point inward to your domain. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can work on these two areas and see progress over time.However, there are also some optional in-person or real-life strategies that you can use to boost your SEO campaign. For traditional businesses, this is an exciting possibility.Real-Life SEO StrategiesTry using some of these in-real-life strategies to improve your SEO campaign's performance:1. Advertise your content through print.The content you develop for your site doesn't have to remain exclusive to your site. After all, you spent a lot of time on it and it's appealing to your target audience. You can use your best copy in printed brochures, or use printed ads to direct your key demographics to your website to view your most popular materials. This will generate more interest in your on-site content from new demographics, who will then be more likely to share, comment, and engage with it, driving your visibility and effectiveness up.2. Network with more people.You could also work on attending more professional networking events and meeting more people when you get there. These are easy opportunities to meet more people who are interested in expanding their personal networks of contacts; almost everyone you meet will be willing to connect on social media, which will instantly increase the diversity and volume of your audience. Assuming you meet 10 new people at every event and attend one or two events a week, you could easily rack up 1,000 new followers a year--and that's not even counting the additional contacts those new contacts will give you.3. Get mentioned in major publications.It's also a good idea to try and get your business featured in local publications, even if they don't have an online presence. Though newspapers are slowly dying, they remain a viable medium for some demographics and can be easier routes for mass visibility than some online sources. Do noteworthy things in your community and build a relationship with at least one journalist who works for a local publication. There are a few easy ways to find a reporter's email address, so pitch them a few interesting ideas and get yourself featured.4. Attend local events.You could also increase visibility for your business by attending more local events. For example, if there are street fairs and festivals going on, make sure your business is represented at a table or even help with the event. This will help build your notoriety in the local sphere, which means you'll attract more local followers, get featured in more local publications, and earn more online visibility and local relevance, even if you aren't directly trying to build it. Stay plugged into your community to learn what's going on at any point in time, and don't be afraid to get things started--odds are, other business owners would jump at the chance to get involved with a budding event.5. Draw more people to your site through traditional ads.Remember, more traffic is always a good thing for SEO. It means that more people will be reading, sharing, and linking to your content, you'll develop a bigger reputation, and as long as they're engaged, Google will view your site as having a higher domain authority. You can also drive traffic to your website through traditional advertising methods, such as TV spots or billboards. These tend to be more expensive than long-term digital investments like content and social media, but they're worth it if your business needs the extra SEO boost from an[...]



7 Ways to Coordinate Your SEO Team's Efforts

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:18:39 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Search engine optimization (SEO) demands input from many different teams and individuals at once; on the surface, it may seem like a straightforward strategy, but it's actually an amalgamation of efforts from multiple different areas.For example, your strategic directors will be busy delving into keyword research and new competitive opportunities, while your writers work on new content, your social media experts work on promotion and audience building, and your account managers or team leads analyze your results and keep your clients or bosses happy.All of these sub-groups of people will be trying to achieve their individual goals while trying to remain focused as a team. After all, they all share the same ultimate vision--boosting your rankings in search engines. Wrangling this chaos into something organized can be extremely difficult, but there are some strategies that can help you do it.Order in ChaosTry using these strategies to keep your SEO team better organized:1. Keep your team on the same schedule (mostly).Even though your team may not be working in the same location or even on the same projects, it's a good idea to keep your team on the same schedule--for the most part. Working during the same hours will allow for the nearly constant possibility of communication, so you don't run into the problem of employees reaching out to others when they're unavailable. Alternatively, you could use shift planning software to schedule your employees' shifts and availabilities on some kind of rotating basis, allowing key periods of overlap where conversation can freely take place.2. Use cloud-hosted software.Hopefully by now, most of your systems are already in the cloud. Cloud-hosted software is accessible anywhere at any time--provided you have the credentials and an internet connection. This means all of your employees will have mutual access to the same files, the same project documents, and the same communication threads as everyone else--no matter what device they're using or where they've set up shop for the day.3. Set clear expectations.One of your most important strategies will be setting clear expectations from the beginning. Let your employees know things like the chain of command, proper procedures for uploading finished work, approvals processes, and how you expect goals to be reached. This will help keep everyone on the same page and thinking together like a team with a unified goal.4. Set clear communication standards.You'll also want to set clear communication standards for your team to use. For example, if you use project management software, should all of your team's discussion stay relegated to the appropriate project within the software? Or should they use instant messaging for the discussion, and the project management software to document key points of interest? Don't wait to establish these standards; be proactive here.5. Appoint key leadership positions.A team is only as good as its leader. While you may serve as the overall team leader, you'll also need to appoint key positions of leadership among your teammates. For example, who has the last say on content getting published to your site? Who's ultimately responsible for various projects hitting their deadlines? Establishing some kind of hierarchy will help keep all your workers in line.6. Document your workflows.It's also beneficial to formally document all your workflows. Setting clear expectations, proactively, will go a long way in making sure your team stays working together and following the same procedures, but having a documented reference source will prevent those standards from evolving in new directions over time (it will also help solve any disputes that may arise within the team).7. Set both individual and group goals.Finally, you'[...]



6 Strategies for Small Businesses to Outrank National Competition in Search Engines

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 12:59:56 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Search engine optimization (SEO) is an effective and cost-efficient strategy, so long as you can get past the biggest obstacle to success: competition.Even if you work tirelessly to rank for a valuable keyword, one strong competitor is all it takes to knock you out of the top position and compromise what you've built. Big national companies, which have spent years establishing massive domain authorities and solid positions in their respective industries, are some of the fiercest competitors there are, but there are strategies small businesses can use to remain competitive.Top Strategies for SuccessThese are some of the most effective ways to remain competitive on a national scale, even with a limited budget:1. Highlight your brand's unique advantages.As Elorus notes, one of the best ways for small brands to remain competitive with bigger brands is to show off what makes them unique; for example, a small business may get the edge on a national competitor by showing off personalized customer service (such as with a dedicated account representative). You can do this in SEO too; the trick is to select keywords and phrases that reflect those unique advantages. Write pages of content on your site that fully explain and detail those advantages, and optimize accordingly.2. Target niche keywords.Along similar lines, you can differentiate yourself by choosing more niche target keywords. Instead of optimizing for basic keywords relevant to the entirety of your industry, choose keywords that are only relevant to your specific demographics. For example, you could choose keywords that appeal to an audience segment that you seek, but your national competitors wouldn't. It's a way of taking advantage of audience members that nobody else is pursuing.3. Use more long-tail keywords.As explained by Moz, another good strategy is to optimize for more long-tail keywords. "Head" keywords are generally short, topic-based keywords like "taco restaurant." These keywords are high in search volume, which makes them generate lots of traffic, but they're also highly competitive. The opposite is to choose long-tail keywords, which contain more words and longer phrases, usually representing longer, more conversational queries, like "where are the spiciest tacos in California." These won't see as much search volume, which gives them less total potential, but at the same time, they'll be far easier to rank for.4. Consider local optimization.Quick Sprout offers another strategy in the form of pursuing local optimization (local SEO) specifically. Google actually uses two separate algorithms for national search results and local results. For local results, it displays the top three relevant results in a "local 3-pack," where each company's name is presented next to links to a website, phone number, and directions. Optimizing for this isn't much different from national optimization, but will maximize your audience's relevance and weed out some competition. You'll need to optimize for more local-specific keyword terms and phrases and get yourself listed in local directories like Yelp or TripAdvisor.5. Rely on third-party references.Many SEO strategies have benefits in addition to their ability to increase your search engine rankings, especially when they involve third-party sources. For example, getting guest posts published on external publishers will earn you more inbound traffic from referral links and boost your brand's reputation. The same is true for any local citations you earn with third-party sources. To get an edge over the competition, focus less on the primary goal of earning higher rankings, and diversify your strategy by earning traffic, visibility, and a better reputation with these third-party references.6. Seek alternative modes of visibility.Finally, r[...]



6 Ways to Make Seasonal Content Effective in SEO

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:27:10 -0600

by Jayson DeMers In the SEO world, most people pay significant attention to "evergreen" content, which is content that remains relevant no matter what time of the year it is, or even what year it is. It can be repurposed, reposted, re-syndicated, and re-read at any time, and it still retains its value, so most people see it athe smart, long-term investment.While this is mostly true, you shouldn't neglect the potential power of its counterpart--seasonal content. Seasonal content is content that's only valuable or relevant during certain times of the year or during certain events; for example, it could be tied to a literal season, a holiday, or a particularly busy time of the year for your business.For example, you might write about how to protect your plants from the winter cold, or about your favorite Halloween recipes, or even how to address a boom in real estate spending. But how can you implement this seasonal content effectively?Key ConsiderationsThese are some of the most important things to keep in mind:1. Remember the advantages.Seasonal content isn't inherently better or worse than evergreen content; instead, it has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, even though it's only effective for part of the year, it also comes with less competition, so you can use it as a way to build a more specific niche readership. It's also useful for targeting specific keywords related to your chosen season and it can build your brand's expertise in that area. Play to those advantages when developing your content.2. Headlines are everything.The headlines of your articles are the most important feature--with seasonal content as well as evergreen. The headline is the first thing your readers are going to see, and the most important piece to optimize for SEO, so put ample time and energy into creating your seasonal content headlines. Make sure you explicitly include keywords relevant to that season, or your readers may be disappointed when they read it.3. Build on your previous efforts.Seasonal content may not be relevant for the entire year, but that doesn't mean it can't be reused or built upon. After all, winter comes around every 12 months (whether you like it or not). Instead of launching a new seasonal content strategy every year, or abandoning your efforts at the end of the season, reexamine your strategy to build on your previous year's efforts and keep your momentum going.4. Only syndicate your posts when appropriate.Hopefully, you've already got a syndication strategy in place, promoting your older content marketing posts on social media and other publication channels on a regular basis. However, you'll want to avoid promoting your seasonal content when it isn't appropriate, or it could appear as though you aren't organized. Instead, keep your evergreen content in regular rotation, and only syndicate your seasonal content when the time is right.5. Pay attention to the competition.Next, pay close attention to how your competition is using seasonal content. Not every industry benefits from using seasonal content, so think about what your contemporaries are doing. Beyond that, look for key competitive opportunities by considering types of content your competitors aren't writing, and jump on them. If your competitors seem to have a lockdown on a given seasonal niche, it may not be worth the pursuit. One of the greatest advantages of seasonal content is its low competition, so if that advantage is made irrelevant, its power significantly wanes.6. Target your keywords carefully.Finally, do your keyword research well in advance of creating any content. Seasonal keywords spike in traffic for short periods of time, so it's important to notice patterns in traffic and competition from year to year. Optimize your headlines [...]



How to Use Competitors to Your Advantage in SEO

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 15:06:27 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful strategy, enabling you to get your website in front of thousands of monthly searchers--but it's also a sensitive one. Because users often go with the first thing they see in search engine results pages (SERPs), all it takes is one competitor outranking you to completely stifle your potential.But what if you could use your competitors to your advantage, rather than letting them climb over you?Competitive StrategiesThere are actually distinct strategies you can use to take advantage of the fact that your competition exists. Rather than serving as an obstacle or an annoyance, these strategies turn your competitors into boosts for your SEO campaign.1. Optimize product reviews.First, you can work on optimizing product reviews for SEO. Reviews affect SEO in a number of different ways. For example, getting better reviews for your business can help you rank higher in local search results. Earning detailed, positive customer reviews for products can help you rank for target keywords relating to those products. Reviews can even appear in SERPs directly if you use the correct microformatting. Take a look at how your competitors are using reviews in their current SEO campaigns; are there any opportunities for you to one-up them, with more or better reviews for your business or products? Work to outperform your competition here, and you'll easily earn a higher slot.2. Optimize for competitors' brand names.You could also write articles or optimize specifically for your competitors' brand names, like how Printing Center USA recently wrote about Kinkos pricing. It's unlikely that you'll be able to outrank your competitors for their own brand names, but you could earn a competing spot near the top of the search results. This gives you some degree of control over new users' expectations for that brand. Don't write attack pieces or your own reputation could come into question, but don't be afraid to point out some of their shortcomings; it's a valuable opportunity to improve your visibility and relative reputation. 3. Write comparison and industry articles.You could also write an extended comparison guide or list of companies like yours, like how the Creative Ham publishes a list of advertising agencies. The idea here is to provide valuable information to users who might be looking for companies in your industry--and of course, you can throw your own name into the mix. Write up honest details about each brand, including pros and cons, and let your readers decide for themselves. You'll get tons of new visibility in search engines, so there's no need to be pushy about advertising your own services in the article--you might even turn people away if you do.4. Monitor and mimic link building strategies.You can also use a tool like Moz's Open Site Explorer to perform a detailed analysis of your competitors' link building strategies. Pay attention to what links they've built, where they've built them, and how they've grown over time. You can adopt this strategy for yourself, mimicking their lines of development and earning similar growth in domain authority and reputation. It's an easy way to catch up to a competitor ahead of you, and spot weaknesses that you can take advantage of with a simple twist to your existing tactics.5. Track and differentiate niche keywords.Keywords are another key area of SEO where you can easily gain an advantage. Pay attention to what niche keywords and long-tail phrases your competitors are optimizing for, then pick a group of keywords completely unrelated to them for your own strategy. Oftentimes, there's an entire open field of subtopics and keyword phrases that are untapped by the competition. If you swoop in to pick th[...]



How to Learn SEO When You Know Absolutely Nothing About It

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:04:09 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Search engine optimization (SEO) can be intimidating if you're a newbie. Even the concept -- making changes to your website to increase its visibility in search engines for specific keyword searches -- sounds complicated, and once you dig into the technical details, it all seems even harder to grasp.But in reality, SEO is much simpler than it appears on the surface. Almost every tactic you need to increase your rankings can be learned in a matter of weeks ... at least enough to get you going.All it takes is the certainty that you can learn this, the dedication to follow through, and a good starting point. So I've come up with the following six steps to master SEO even if you know nothing at the start.High-Level BasicsFirst, keep these key and high-level basics in mind:The learning never stops. As with any entrepreneurial venture, you should recognize that you'll never learn everything. As Sam Ovens comments, you need to commit to an ongoing learning process if you want to keep making progress. SEO changes all the time, thanks to new technologies and search algorithms, so you want to stay on your toes if you hope to prosper.Scale your knowledge gradually. You aren't going to learn everything overnight, no matter how hard you work. So instead of trying to cram as much information into your brain as possible, focus on a small segment of SEO at a time.SEO is an ongoing experiment. Even if you had all the current knowledge in place, there's no guarantee that you'll succeed. You need to measure, analyze, and refine your efforts constantly to improve your approach on an ongoing basis. Phases of LearningWith those precepts in mind, you can start to learn SEO over six key phases:1. Get the 10,000-foot view.Start with the basics. Before you tackle anything with regard to SEO tactics, you need to grasp the strategy: what it isn't, how it's used, and how it can benefit your firm. Even if you believe you have a good idea, it's wise to check your assumptions: There are a number of misconceptions about SEO that might skew your approach if you start working under those premises. Moz has an excellent Beginner's Guide to SEO that's worth reading, even if you're already familiar with how SEO works.2. Learn how Google works.Next, you'll want to get a feel for how Google works as a search engine ... but don't worry: you don't have to learn any programming. Instead, you'll want to learn how Google's algorithms evaluate the authority of domains and pages, how keyword contexts are determined, and the various Google updates that have altered the SEO game over the years. (High-level understanding is fine for most of these.) You can go straight to the source for this one: Google has a great interactive feature that explains the long and short of how Google search operates to index sites and calculate rankings.3. Study keyword research and strategy.After that, you should learn how keyword research is performed -- as well as why it matters. Hummingbird has transformed the function of keywords within Google search over the past three years, but it's still worthwhile to include target keywords as part of your strategy. Backlinko has a detailed guide on this topic if you're completely unfamiliar with it, but try to experiment with lots of keyword research tools before you settle on the best one for your brand.4. Understand how to measure and analyze your campaign.Before you start experimenting with the tactics that are intended to help you rank higher in searches, you need to know what you're looking for and how to gauge your success. In this phase, you'll become acquainted with the tools that can help you measure your progress, understand your effectiveness, and ultimately improve [...]



Which Social Media Platforms Should You Use for SEO?

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:05:52 -0600

by Jayson DeMers Social media has become a wonderfully diverse field, with dozens of different platforms in all kinds of different niches. While some powerhouses have clearly risen to the top (i.e., Facebook), some platforms offer incredible niche opportunities for businesses trying to get the most out of their campaigns.But when it comes to choosing the right platforms to support your SEO campaign, things can get a bit confusing. It's too much effort to pursue a strategy on every single platform you can find, but at the same time you want to make the most of your budget. So which social media platforms work best to support an SEO campaign?Why Social Media Matters for SEOFirst, we need to clarify an important misconception: social media doesn't directly affect your search rankings. It may seem like getting more popularity on social media could feasibly improve your rankings, but that's not how Google's algorithm works. So why is social media still important for SEO? Because it has a number of peripheral benefits for your search optimization strategy:Building an audience. Social media makes it easier to build an audience, helping you expand your brand visibility and reputation, which in turn makes it easier to pursue SEO strategies like link building.Promoting your content. Syndicating on the right platforms can also increase the reach of your content.  With more reach, a better reputation, and a bigger audience, you'll also stand to earn more inbound links, which have a powerful effect on your organic search rankings.A Look at Each PlatformNow let's take a look at how each of today's major platforms can help you in this regard:1. Instagram.First up, we have Instagram, which now stands as the second-most popular social platform in the world (with over 400 million users). Instagram has a huge visibility advantage--if you run a contest here, you could easily attract hundreds of new followers or retain some of your older ones. It doesn't take much effort to manage a branded account, but there's one major disadvantage; you can't include links in your posts. This makes it exceptionally hard to distribute your content and earn more links.2. Facebook.Facebook remains the king of social media, with more than a billion users worldwide and enough flexible functionality to make even the pickiest marketer happy. You can post links, written content, images, or video, and employ contests, run ads, or join groups and participate in discussions. It's arguably the best platform for content syndication and audience growth due to its universal appeal, but keep in mind that organic reach is slowing down, making it more difficult to scale effectively.3. Twitter.Twitter is a fast-paced platform that allows you to syndicate links quickly and reach out to new people easily. For these reasons, it's one of the better platforms for quickly building an audience and pushing your content out. However, the main drawback for Twitter is that it's showing signs that it may be past its prime as a social media channel. Many people have predicted the imminent death of Twitter, and its user base doesn't show many signs of a potential recovery.4. LinkedIn.LinkedIn serves a great niche--professionals, entrepreneurs, and career builders. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks. LinkedIn caters to individuals, so there aren't as many opportunities for brand pages to get visibility. However, if you're using personal brands as conduits to gain connections, participate in groups, and promote your core brand's content, it can be highly effective.5. Pinterest.Pinterest's format makes it a make-or-break platform for most brands. If you'r[...]