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How To Build Natural Backlinks

How To Build Natural Backlinks

In the beginning of SEO, it was easy to boost rankings within search engines by rushing out and purchasing a whole lot of links.  Now, that is not the case; search engines have adapted, taking into account the quality of links your site has and ranking it accordingly.  That is not to say that links are unimportant nowadays.  In fact, links are still a key element in successful online marketing.  Quality link building, in other words, links that reflect the value of the website content, reinforce positive assessments by search engine algorithms.

Links that reflect value are natural links that occur in the natural flow of the website content and demonstrate purpose.  Conversely, any links that do not reflect or support the subject matter or add value to the content of the site will reduce the rating of that site.  In short, poor-quality links will present you with a sort of penalty for using links that lack a real connection to the content.   That is because search engines are using these links to predict which sites offer valuable content to visitors and which are misdirecting visitors to sites that don’t provide any real value to their search.

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Successful Link Building

At times, it may seem overwhelmingly difficult to develop high-quality links.  However, there are 5 key steps that will help anyone along looking to build natural links.  As will be demonstrated, it is far more productive to use a balanced set of sources for local link building that relate to the content, and which themselves contain high-value links than to try and utilize only one source.  The following 5 steps will help you kick-start your link-building campaign:

 

  • Use Freelance Writers for High-Quality Links
    Freelance writers that share an area of interest are excellent sources of natural links.  They share the subject-matter focus of the website and use links to enhance articles and blogs.  Finding good writers who share a niche is not difficult.  Performing a Google or other online search for the topic will reveal writers.  Following the bio lines and postings will show the following audiences and level of author activity.  The next step is to engage some leading writers.  Begin to exchange content with them.  In this way, a website can gather a set of active writers who can naturally link to its content.  Other sites will also be able to link their own work.  The mix of outside work builds a stronger position for ratings.
  • Good Writing Attracts Good Links
    Providing meaningful and valuable content is crucial to building quality links.  You will always hear me preach one thing over and over; Content is King!  Set yourself apart from your competition by standing out as an expert in your field.  To do this, you should post the best, knowledge-filled writing possible on the website.  This content will engage current visitors, attract new visitors, and encourage natural links as users add or refer to the data.  High-quality writing encourages return visits!
  • Use Infographics
    An infographic is a picture that contains detailed information.  It is a quick and easy way for viewers to get a general idea, and specifics, about the article they are reading.  Infographics are popular with website followers but are an excellent tool for developing links.  The infographic has information that users can reference and interpret.  These uses reflect tremendous value to search engines.  As a side note, infographics provide breaks in the article which can make it easier to read and be more engaging for your visitors.
  • Social Media Links
    Many search engine algorithms use social media links as a measure of value.  For example, Bing uses them as a factor in assessing content.  Google apparently does not, but its analytics can detect it in other ways.  Social media has the dimension of word of mouth advertising.  Though sometimes easy to overlook for small businesses, social media will allow for a level of engagement otherwise difficult to achieve on the website alone.
  • Community Action Scholarship or Contest
    The crowning effort in building links can be something that involves people and creates a strong flow of traffic. Giveaway contests, scholarships, and prizes are great tools for encouraging traffic.  They add interest and an element of fun to the visitor.  The overall experience for the visitor is significantly increased.  People will gladly link to a site that offers prizes, free things, and opportunities with value such as scholarships.  And, if scholarships isn’t your thing, find another value-added service or product that pertains to your industry and will invite engagement.

 

 

Regular Site Maintenance Boosts Your Business

Regular Site Maintenance Boosts Your Business

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I’m currently sitting on a bench in front of a great and spacious building waiting for a ride.  Why?  My parked car ran out of gas.  Had I simply observed the fuel gauge or received a simple warning from my wife, the entire situation could have been avoided.  Waiting here, contemplating my current situation, has me thinking about SEO and website performance.  Just as my negligence for a simple detail such as monitoring the fuel gauge in my car has left me stranded, it is just as easy to overlook the simple details of a website.  It is so important to to have a schedule of regular site maintenance, rather that ignoring seemingly simple details and warnings, to minimize the risk of having larger problems present themselves.

What kind of simple maintenance needs to be performed frequently when it comes to search engine optimization?  Do you find yourself adding “fuel” to your SEO campaign as often as you should?  Hopefully your website is experiencing a constant influx of new content.  Take a few minutes to think about your strategy and whether it includes continual maintenance and the adage of new content.

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In order to help jump-start your thoughts, think about the last time your written content was optimized. If it is anything like most websites, fresh content is often neglected. This is especially so when it comes to optimization. Continuing, were custom titles and meta descriptions created with an SEO strategy in mind? What about the images? Were they added with website speed in mind? Were the images optimized with a keyword-rich name and title?

An additional thought to consider is whether the new content you have added was submitted to both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools? How was this done? Was it submitted through the Fetch Tool? Was the new content added to the appropriate XML Sitemap, including any images?

As you can see, there are many finite details on the backend of your website that need attention. Just as my car would not have left me stranded had I paid a little closer attention, your website won’t leave you wondering why your business is struggling if you will simply maintain it on a regular basis. Adding fresh content, properly submitting that content to Webmaster Tools, and fine-tuning each of the minute details will all ensure your site will be performing better than your competition.

An Easy Overview of On-Page SEO

An Easy Overview of On-Page SEO

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If you haven’t heard of SEO, chances are you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten to fifteen years.  SEO is an extremely important part of all aspects of successful web development, business marketing, and content creation.  Most people who, at the very least, dabble in these realms know the basics.  We’ll cover these basics, but there are other simple best practices that can also be easily implemented to better serve your rankings on the biggest of online hubs – search engines.

In an attempt to ensure understanding, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization.’  It is a way to gain favor with search engines, such as Google, in increasing rankings and relevancy for keyword searches.  We’ll use Google throughout our explanations here because it’s the largest, most widely used, and most discussed when it comes to SEO.

Google’s algorithms are primarily what hold the control over rankings.  These algorithms are designed to determine relevancy, importance, and usefulness.  They do more, but these factors are crucial to SEO and helping Google recognize your information and website as leaders in your industry.

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Continuously updating and evolving, Google’s algorithms become more and more sophisticated.  In the old days of SEO, it was common and easy to rely highly on keywords.  This incentivized people to take part in ‘keyword stuffing’, or egregiously using the keyword they were hoping to rank for within their on-page content.  This is now a big no-no!  To be successful in the world of SEO today, it’s expected that you’ll have a keyword density of around 1%-3%.  Because this is now a given, it’s important to understand the other elements that make up a successful SEO campaign.

Above all else, the most important thing to understand is that Content Is King.  If you have good content, most other things will fall into place for you in terms of good SEO practices.  I can’t stress this enough…Good, Quality Content Breeds Good, Quality SEO Results!  This means, first of all, having multimedia present in your posts and on your pages.  Pictures and video can add interest and value to your content, keeping visitors on your site for longer periods of time.  Speaking of which, Google measures bounce rate and time on site as factors when determining SEO.  If your visitors are leaving your site immediately, it essentially shows that there isn’t much in the way of quality content or incentive for them to stay longer.  In the eyes of Google, this is a knock against you.  If, however, people stay for longer, it’s evident your website must have better content.  It implies to Google that you have important, relevant information that your visitors enjoy.

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Beyond multimedia, other ways to effectively boost these measures in Google’s eyes are to increase the length of posts (more than 1,000 words, or 1,500 if competing for an even more competitive keyword) and adding internal links that people actually want to click on in order to read more of your stuff and see more of your site.

Other current best practices to incorporate include cutting down on the loading speed of your page, utilizing SEO friendly URLs that include keywords, including outbound links to other relevant and credible sites, and using social media buttons/icons on-page in order to promote sharing. There is a vast amount of best-practices that we could discuss and probably use to fill a book. Although, it is probably best to begin with the basics and ensure that these tips I have discussed here are at the top of your list for completion. If you do this handful of tasks before doing anything else to try and promote your site, you will be off to a much better start and, in the long run, will prove to me more successful.

In summary, SEO is all about your content nowadays. Live by that philosophy and you’ll be alright. We have just scratched the surface of useful tactics for improving your rankings within search engines, though, so keep checking back as we add more to our blog and continue discussing other helpful steps to take for enhancing your website and SEO.

Marketing Managers Can Improve Your Life

Marketing Managers Can Improve Your Life

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If you are a local business owner you know how hectic life can be!  You are constantly busy organizing this product, that service, and every small task in between. This is precisely why you need your own Contract Digital Marketing Manager!

What Exactly Is a Contract Digital Marketing Manager?

A Contract Digital Marketing Manager is an individual who will help you effectively run and manage your online business as well as the business marketplace.  These individuals are specially trained to help you organize every little detail that goes along with owning a business.  Having someone who is trained in this area will allow you to have more free time, allowing you to invest in social events and meetings where you can spread the word orally.  Your Contract Digital Marketing Manager will also act as a personal consultant, showing you how to spread awareness for your products, services, and website as a whole.

You may be wondering just how a Contract Digital Marketing Manager is going to help your business.  Well, because Contract Digital Marketing Managers are specially trained and highly aware of multiple marketing platforms, they know exactly which sources to use for properly branding your business.  This is particularly helpful if your online business is small, just beginning, or primarily local.  These individuals will create and manage highly popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and others that cater to your industry.  Creating these pages will generate an online awareness as well as give the business a few followers to spread the word however way they choose.  At the same time, these Contract Digital Marketing Managers will also know the local community well and understand what is most valued at any given time.  Having this critical information at your disposal will allow them to convince the community that what you have to offer is something that they need.

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Though social media is one of the most popular ways to spread the word about new businesses, Contract Digital Marketing Managers also understand that the website, in and of itself, is a key to success.  While you may be the one creating the website, they will help to make the presence of your site more user friendly and easy to find.  Contract Digital Marketing Managers are great at making your site easy to find in an online search.  These individuals know the importance of making your site SEO friendly.

With everything continually changing in the online industry, it can be difficult to stay on top of your marketing needs.  This is why it is extremely useful to have a Digital Marketing Manager on your side.  In this day and age these individuals are highly sought after.  This is because they are highly trained with a unique ability to market your products, services, and business as a whole.  Hiring this individual will give you the time you need to improve your products and work on your business in the various ways you see fit.  Very few online business owners ever regret hiring their Contract Digital Marketing Manager as they add an element to the business that the owners themselves are unable to do.

If you are still trying to wrap your head around all of this, check out our directory of SEO companies.  Or, to make it even easier, have one of our experts give you a call to discuss your needs and goals.

Most Case Studies Are Overrated

Most Case Studies Are Overrated

Why are case studies so important?

Most online marketing case studies are flawed and full of crap. To be honest, case studies are performed after there has been a marketing win. To ensure continued success, someone is now frantically digging and looking for what made a difference with online ranking factors. Then, they quickly take credit for the success and put together a case study that highlights their completed work.

Don’t get me wrong, you can effectively do a case study after you have completed marketing tactics, but you have to structure it correctly while knowing your cause and effect.

So, what is a case study and how should a case study be composed? A case study is an in-depth study of an event or series of events that led to specific outcome. Throughout the process, keep in mind that regardless of the end result of your study, positive or negative, it is important to accurately record the outcome so you can either replicate the process that provided you with success or make any necessary changes to avoid detrimental pitfalls. The following steps will guide you along the path to creating an effective, high-quality case study, beginning with outlining your objectives and goals.

How to set up your case study:

  1. Define your Questions

 What is your objective in your case study? Sample questions to ask yourself in internet marketing are:

How do I improve traffic to my website?
How do I improve my keyword rankings?
How do I rank higher in Google?
How do I improve conversions on my website?
These sample questions are all are great questions to have in mind when preparing your case study.

2.  Select the case you want to study

Case studies in internet marketing will be focused on the tasks you are performing to produce desired outcomes. To develop a high-quality case study, don’t be too broad in your topics. Get focused on a single task to examine and measure the effects of that action. A few ideas to choose from are:

On-page SEO
Link building
Blogging
Social Media
Paid promotion
Content promotion

After you have decided which task you are working on, make sure you have an effective method for tracking your efforts and the outcome of tasks you have completed. I recommend using a PM software or excel to track and manage your efforts. Both of these options will provide you with quick methods for compiling charts and graphs to highlight your efforts and show off your hard work!

3. Tasks and Data Collection

This is a phase of action. During step three you create and implement your plan of action. Take time to create steps and systems to track your progress. If you are working on a social media case study, know and record all your efforts so the tasks can be measured.

4. Evaluate & Analyze Data Collected

Now that you have completed you tasks, it boils down to time. Depending on the task you have completed you may need anywhere from a few days to a few months worth of data to compose a quality case study. Remember that a case study may have a positive or negative outcome. Document your wins and losses. All data is valuable!

5. Prepare your Report

Now that all the data has been collected and analyzed, it is time to share your efforts. There are several ways in which you can share your reports and data. Here are just a few suggestions:

White papers
Blog posts
Publish in media networks
Print marketing material
Sales copy

With a proper outline you can create a beautiful case study that makes sense and is backed up with data. Take your time to do it right. Do all of your research and present only the facts! Your research, when done properly, will prove beneficial to you and those around you.

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