Posts Tagged ‘search engines’
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Monday, April 21st, 2014
Image courtesy of Susana Fernandez/Flickr.
Keeping your website updated and publishing new content on a regular basis can help you achieve and maintain search rankings, making it easier for your market to find you. New content can also help you keep visitors interested and engaged, which can lead to lower bounce rates and even increased sales.
Many businesses struggle with finding ways to update their site regularly without completely overhauling their pages. Here are a few simple and creative ways to keep your site updated with new content.
Post to your Blog Regularly
Perhaps the most common way businesses keep their site updated is by blogging regularly. New blog posts will help you get higher rankings and of course, are an excellent way to tell your story and communicate with your market. When you publish informative and valuable blog posts and then share them through social media, you’ll also attract more traffic to your site.
Create a Company Newsroom
Another simple way to add new content to your site is to create a company newsroom. Similar to a blog, this could be a page on your site where you post news updates, press releases and information about current events that relate to your company or industry.
You can also share these posts through social media, email marketing campaigns and even with media outlets that may decide to cover your story, giving you excellent exposure and potentially linking back to your website.
Highlight Products on your Homepage
Highlighting products on your homepage not only allows you to add fresh content regularly, but also makes it easy to add a call to action asking visitors to make a purchase. Use a portion of your homepage to add some content about a featured product and then add a link that allows visitors to purchase it.
Change the highlighted product regularly, every few weeks or months, and use this tactic in conjunction with other marketing efforts to make the most of it. For example, at the same time you promote a product on social media, feature it on your homepage.
If you produce newsletters to send to your email marketing lists, why not publish them on your website too? Dedicate a portion of your site to your newsletters and post them there when you send them to your market. Be sure to promote these on social media too so you can attract traffic and even grow your email list.
Newsletters can include information about new products, special deals, company news and tips relating to your products, among other kinds of content.
Add How-To Guides and Other Resources
Posting valuable content on your site is a great way to build your reputation as an industry expert and the go-to resource for your market. Publish how-to guides, idea lists, tips and other resources that your market will find helpful. This is an excellent way to boost your traffic and makes it easy to continually post fresh content to your website.
Adopt some of these tactics to keep fresh content flowing to your site so you’ll see better search rankings and a more engaged audience. Remember, it’s vital that the content you post is designed for people, not search engines, and rankings will follow.
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Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Image courtesy of Victoria Pickering/Flickr.
Both Internet marketing and content marketing require you to reach out and find your market where it is. Yes, you want to drive traffic to your site and attract your customers to you, but you need to find your target market and draw people in. One of the best ways to do this is to publish your content in multiple places.
So, where do you publish your content? Start with your own properties like your website and blog. This gives you a permanent online presence and gives your audience one main place they can go to get information about your business. Since these are your pages, you have complete control over them and can use them however you want.
But, to expand your reach, grow your online presence and reach a larger audience, you will need to publish content on some other sites.
For search engine optimisation purposes, never publish the same piece of content in multiple places, as search engines penalise duplicate content. Also, keep in mind that it’s okay to build links to earn rankings, but steer clear of spammy sites and link farms.
High-Quality, Reputable Blogs
Guest blogging is still relevant and beneficial as long as you do it the right way. Don’t make link building your primary goal. Look for blogs that your audience reads and the people you are targeting respect. Then, contact the owner with a post idea that benefits his readership and ask if he would be willing to let you be a guest blogger.
You can still link back to your website but make sure the links are relevant and the sites you post on are reputable. Be wary of blog networks, as Google has recently penalised some well-known sites.
Outside Publishing Platforms
Outside publishing platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, and other sites, can help you get your content out there and direct traffic back to your site. Many of these places already have rather large readerships and if your content resonates with the people there, you will attract new site visitors and customers.
Don’t discount industry-specific websites. Many industries have online journals, websites and blogs that have very large followings and getting your content there could help you expand your audience very quickly. Some of these sites allow you to set up an account so you can publish content whenever you want. Others choose content selectively and you’ll need to submit a blog post or article for approval.
Press Release Distribution Services
Legitimate press release distribution services like PRWeb and PR Newswire make it easy to publish press releases in a place where others can find the information and even share it on their own site. These sites also allow for links, so you can use them as part of your SEO campaign. When you use press releases, make sure the content is newsworthy and current so they will be as effective as possible.
Publishing branded content on various sites will help you reach a wider audience, drive traffic to your site and even earn search engine rankings. The key is to choose the sites you use carefully and opt for high-quality sites with a good reputation and that attract your market.
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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
Image courtesy of Anthony Ryan/Flickr.
Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, recently tried to clear up some common search engine optimisation myths. In his video, he let marketers in on the secret to getting Google rankings: align your content and site with Google’s goal to provide the best search results to users. You can see Cutts’ video on Search Engine Journal.
But, how exactly do you align your content with that goal? How do you make sure it helps to provide users with the best search results? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Know what Your Market Wants
What does your market want? A solution to a technical problem? Creative ideas? Products that make life easier? Whatever it is the people you are targeting want, provide it. There are lots of ways to find out what this is, from simple brainstorming to polls and surveys and even focus groups.
Once you know what these wants and needs are, make sure every piece of content on your website works to meet those needs. Your pages will attract more traffic and be more likely to rank when people search for related terms.
Appeal to Your Market’s Emotions
Your site should appeal to your market’s emotions in a way that makes people want to respond to your calls to action and value your content. First, think about what you want your market to do and what people want. Then, figure out how the content on your site can spur that action.
For example, a business that provides safety equipment might appeal to readers’ emotions by appealing to their desire to keep family and employees safe.
Know what Makes Your Market Tick
Knowing what makes your market tick will help you create content that provides the best results to Google searchers. When you know what interests people, what kind of information they are looking for and what drives them to interact, your content will rank well and help your business be more successful.
The things that motivate your market will most likely be closely tied to what people want and their emotions, so when you combine all this information you can produce powerful content.
Provide Undeniable Value
The best content is valuable to the people it is meant for. When this value is undeniable to your market, your content will be more effective. Provide information, resources, advice, details or even entertainment that is relevant to your market and provides benefits. Search engines, including Google, rank high quality content higher than content that doesn’t provide much value and isn’t relevant to searchers.
When you align your content and website with Google’s goal of providing the best results to searchers, your pages will rank higher and your site will be much more successful.
These tips will do more than just help you optimise your content and drive traffic to your site, they will help you connect with your market and achieve your overall goals. Use these tips to take your content to the next level so you can get higher rankings, more traffic, more engaged readers and more customers.
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Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
We recently blogged about how important and valuable mobile search and leads are and shared a report that revealed that mobile local searches have an 80 percent conversion rate. Your local mobile audience is one you don’t want to ignore, but how do you use search engine optimisation to target potential customers?
The key to getting this traffic, that brings leads, is to focus on mobile optimisation and local SEO and Internet marketing. When these things work together, you’ll target a market that has proven that it wants to make a purchase (see our recent blog post).
Get Your Site Mobile Ready
First, make sure your site is mobile ready by making sure it has a responsive design. You want your site to be easy to read, navigate and use on a small smartphone screen or a tablet.
Your site should also load very quickly and cater to mobile users’ needs. People who visit your site from mobile devices might be looking for different things and have different intentions. For example, they may be looking to find your location, log in to their account or find product information. Whatever your users are looking for, make it easy to find on your mobile site.
Use Local SEO and Internet Marketing Tactics
Using local SEO and Internet marketing tactics will help you get the attention of potential customers near your business and drive traffic to your site, which you can convert to leads.
There are all kinds of strategies and tactics you can use to build a local SEO and Internet marketing campaign, but here are a few good places to start.
Target Local Search Terms
Target local search terms that include names of cities, neighbourhoods, business centres, shopping centres and other geographical words and phrases. This will help you rank your site for local terms your market could be searching for.
Leverage User Reviews
User reviews on sites like Google+ Local, Yelp!, Yell and Touch Local not only help you build a positive reputation and generate business, but can also help you earn search rankings. Encourage your customers to leave a review by letting them know you have a profile on these sites.
Don’t Ignore Local and Business Directories
Set up an account on local and business directories to earn rankings and inform your market. Consider using Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing Places as well as local and industry specific business directories. Make sure your profiles are complete so you’ll get the most out of these sites.
Create a Local PPC Campaign
Don’t discount the power of local pay-per-click campaigns. These are a great way to get your business name and website in front of your local market and can help you drive valuable traffic to your site.
Local SEO and Internet marketing tactics are essential if you want to reach potential customers in your area. Start building a local marketing strategy with these tips.
Reach that valuable local mobile audience by using a combination of a strong responsive website and local SEO and PPC strategies to drive traffic to your site and increase sales.
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Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
We already know how important mobile marketing is, but a new study by Neustar Localeze highlights just how vital it is and how it can actually help your business make more sales. According to the research, mobile searches have an 80 percent conversion rate. The study also found that three out of four of those conversions actually lead to a customer coming into a store, not just an online purchase.
The same study found that 63 percent of people who do Internet searches do so from multiple devices to find local businesses. They use laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices to do searches to find information about businesses in their area.
These statistics tell us that people aren’t just searching for local businesses on their mobile devices, but those searches lead to a high number of purchases.
But, that’s not all. A study done by Google and Nielsen found that:
- 55 percent of people using a mobile device to research a product want to make a purchase within an hour.
- 83 percent of those people want to make a purchase within a day.
So, people aren’t just buying products online, they are also going into brick-and-mortar stores to make a purchase and want to do so quickly. Local mobile SEO can be a very powerful way to increase your brand awareness and sales.
Adding Mobile to your SEO Strategy
If you’re already using SEO to drive traffic to your site, it’s imperative that you make sure you are also doing mobile SEO. This newest research highlights just how important it is and how lucrative it can be.
Use Mobile Keywords
People use different keywords when they search from a mobile device than they do when they search online. For example, they may use shorter phrases since they aren’t using a physical keyboard and they are likely to search for local information. Target some specific mobile keywords as part of your SEO campaign.
Link to the Right Pages for a Mobile Market
Just as people use different search terms while using a mobile device, they may also be looking for different information. Your market may be looking for your address, contact information, product specifications or pricing. Think about what mobile searchers are looking for and then optimise and rank those pages.
Build a Mobile-Friendly Site
Of course, to get the benefits of mobile SEO, traffic and leads, you’ll need to make sure your site is easy to navigate on a mobile device. Smartphones and tablets have smaller screens, so be aware of how much text you use and create a navigation menu that is simple and intuitive.
The latest research reminds us that mobile optimisation, traffic and leads are extremely important. To increase your sales and reach your market more effectively, it is essential that you use mobile SEO and make sure your site is easy to use from mobile devices.
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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
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The Internet marketing world is full of all kinds of tactics and strategies, including content marketing and search engine optimisation. These two tactics often work together but aren’t the same. When done correctly your content marketing and SEO efforts can complement each other, strengthening your entire Internet marketing strategy.
Search Engine Watch posted an article that details the difference between content marketing and SEO and the future of link building. The main difference is that content marketing is the process of providing specially designed content that engages your audience and that people want to share. On the other hand, the goal of SEO is to get higher search rankings. So how do you use both of these tactics together?
Produce Content for One or the Other
When you produce content, whether it is a blog post, article, video, infographic, white paper or anything else, determine whether it is part of your content marketing or SEO plan. Of course, it will ultimately benefit both, but it’s important to have one goal in mind when you create a piece of content.
Things you produce for your content marketing plan may have a different audience than those for your SEO plan. If you try to force your SEO strategy onto your content marketing plan, the content will be disjointed, lack a purpose and won’t fit into your overarching Internet marketing strategy. The results won’t be very effective.
Use SEO to Boost Content Marketing
But, just because you produce content as part of your content marketing plan, that doesn’t mean that it can’t also benefit your SEO strategy. Optimise your content with keywords, publish and share it in the right places and include links according to what will benefit your SEO plan. However, don’t sacrifice the quality of the content when you optimise it.
The best SEO content is written with people in mind and then enhanced for search engines. Use keywords naturally and only include links when they are relevant to the content. Always avoid black-hat SEO strategies like keyword stuffing, link farms and using too many links per piece of content.
Always Provide Value
Whether you are producing content for your content marketing or SEO plan, always provide value. Your market will only respond to the best content, which is tailored to peoples’ needs and appeals to their interests. By the same token, search engines are increasingly favouring high-quality content that is relevant over spammy content that is only designed to get links.
Enhance your User Interface and Site Navigation
Your user interface, like your website or blog, and navigation system need to be people and search engine friendly. People who visit your site should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily, so the layout needs to be clear and make sense.
But, search engines also depend on the site structure so be sure it makes sense and that your URLs include keywords whenever possible.
Work for Natural Links
Link building is still an important part of SEO and one way you can get the best links is to work for natural links. Create and share content that people will want to share on social media or link to from their own website or blog.
These kinds of links are natural and are of high value when it comes to search rankings. They can also help you reach a bigger audience and increase traffic to your site.
Content marketing and SEO tactics are so closely related and getting yours to work together will make both of them, and your entire Internet marketing strategy, stronger. The key is to have clear goals for each piece of content and to make sure the way you publish and share content doesn’t deter search engines.
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Friday, March 14th, 2014
Image courtesy of Raoul Pop/Flickr.
Evergreen content is content that doesn’t expire quickly, or ever. In other words, it is content that is relevant and provides value for long periods of time. This kind of content is extremely valuable to your business and can bring several benefits that will help you be more successful.
Evergreen Content Defined
Lots of the content you produce, like blog posts, social media posts, and even some infographics, include information that becomes outdated. Pieces of content about social media features that are continually updated, products that are discontinued and current events all provide great value when they are published, but over time that value decreases.
On the other hand, things like tutorials, business descriptions and content about general topics usually continue to provide value over long periods of time. They are relevant for months or even years.
You do need a combination of these content types for Internet, social media and content marketing, but the benefits of evergreen content are often overlooked by businesses.
What Evergreen Content can do for You
So, what makes evergreen content so beneficial? The things it can help you achieve and the benefits it can bring are very valuable.
Establish your Brand Voice and Authority
Content that includes information that provides value for longer periods of time can help you establish your brand voice and authority. When you are always changing the content on your homepage, or main pages on your site, you begin to dilute your brand and confuse your market. Evergreen content helps you avoid this.
Evergreen content that highlights your expertise and that your market deems as highly valuable will also help you establish your authority and reputation as an expert, which will help you build your business.
Get more Social Media Traffic
Evergreen content lets you get more out of a single article, blog post, or video as you can continue to share it on social media long after it is created and it will continue to generate interest and traffic. Other kinds of content lose their value and an audience’s interest, so they won’t attract as many clicks.
Build Your Link Bait Foundation
Just as evergreen content can continually attract interest on social media, it can also attract more links. People are much more likely to share content that is relevant and current, so when you publish evergreen content, you are extending the period of time it remains relevant and is most likely to be linked to, bringing you more links and traffic.
Increase Your Rankings
More traffic, comments and links, which will accumulate with evergreen content, can lead to higher search engine rankings. When your site ranks well, it is easier for your market to find it and you’ll see more traffic and more sales.
Evergreen content should play a significant part in your Internet marketing. The value it brings is hard to beat and when you create it, you are making an investment that will bring long-term benefits to your business. Assess your content strategy to find out where you could benefit from evergreen content and make plans to add it to your marketing tactics.
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Monday, March 10th, 2014
Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Blog posts and online articles are a great place to start when it comes to content marketing. In fact, for many businesses, these types of content lay the foundation of their content marketing strategy. However, you can use other types of content to help your business stand out and communicate to your market in different ways.
The types of content you use and how you use them will depend on what you are trying to accomplish and what resonates with your target market, but here are a few ideas to help you get creative.
Infographics are a very popular Internet marketing tactic, but are you using them yet? These are the perfect way to communicate a lot of information or detailed specifics in a quick and easy way. They are easy to understand, interesting and very shareable. Try using an infographic to report interesting industry specifics, sales figures or just some fun information.
Product Demonstration Videos
We’ve blogged before about how videos are a very effective sales tool. One great way to use them is to produce demonstrations that show your products in action. Consumers like to understand a product’s features and exactly how it works and how effective it is before they make a purchase.
Keep in mind that whenever you create videos or podcasts, you’ll need to also produce a written transcript or summary of the content if you want to use it as part of your search engine optimisation efforts.
Interviews with Industry Experts
Give your audience a chance to hear from someone else. You can interview an industry expert with video or audio or you can write a blog post or article in a question and answer format. Industry experts can help you attract attention and can also influence your audience.
How-to guides are another popular form of content you can use to provide value to your market. Consider writing guides that are relevant to your products or services and that solve common problems your market has. This is another type of content that people may be more likely to share through social media.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you can solve a problem or answer questions for your market, you become a valuable resource. Compile blog posts or articles that list frequently asked questions about your business, products, services or anything else relevant to your company and market.
Interactive quizzes are very popular and are a great way to drive traffic to your website. This kind of content is fun and entertaining and is also something that people are likely to share on social media. Get creative and find ways you can use quizzes to promote your products and build your brand.
Content marketing is an Internet marketing strategy that can help you accomplish all kinds of things, from greater brand awareness to higher search engine rankings and even increased sales. As you create your strategy, find creative and unique content types you can use that will resonate with your market and help you reach your goals.
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Thursday, March 6th, 2014
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If your business uses search engine optimisation campaigns, it is absolutely vital that you track your results. You need to know what is working and what isn’t so you can refine your strategies. But, when you look at your analytics dashboard or read your SEO report, do you know what all those terms mean?
It may seem like the SEO industry has its own language, but when you understand what some common terms mean, your reports will be much more helpful. This list is by no means exhaustive but it includes some of the most common terms used in SEO tracking and reporting.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Search engine marketing is the process of promoting a business using SEO tactics to make the business’ website easier for users to find through search engines.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
This is the page displayed on a search engine after a user types in a word or phrase. The pages include both paid and organic search results. The goal of SEO campaigns and SEM is to achieve higher rankings.
PR (Page Rank)
Google uses several different factors to determine how important a website or page is and then assigns that page a number on a scale of zero to 10. The higher the number, the more important Google deems the page.
A page’s authority is determined by how high it ranks in search results. Pages with a higher authority are well optimised and therefore appear at the top of SERPs.
“Backlink” is the technical term for an inbound link, or a link on one site that leads to another. Building backlinks is one way to increase your website’s search rankings.
When a website links to another website, it passes SEO credit to the site or in a sense endorses it. You can choose to make some links nofollow links, so this credit is not passed to the site. In general, you shouldn’t use nofollow links when you link to other pages on your own site.
Organic keywords, as used on website reports, are the words that people type into search engines that lead them to your website. Ranking for organic keywords means that a website appears at the top of organic search results, below the ads on SERPs.
Paid keywords are the words that a business has purchased through a search engine. You can pay to have your website appear in the ad section of SERPs when specific words are typed into the search engine.
Pageviews are simply the number of times a page has been displayed on users’ browsers. This number shows you the number of times your page has loaded, not the number of people who have seen it.
This number tells you how many people have viewed a page. Your site may have 500 pageviews, but only 300 unique pageviews. This means 300 people have viewed the page and 200 of those pageviews were multiple visits by the same users.
A site’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who come to your website and then leave it from the same page, so they only view one page of your site. In general, you want to strive for lower bounce rates, which will tell you that your visitors are exploring your site and spending more time on it.
Understanding what these terms mean, and what these numbers and statistics mean for your website and business, will help you refine your SEO plans and make your site easier for your market to find.
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As more and more people access the Internet from their smartphones using search engines, businesses need to make sure their sites are optimised for mobile use. To be successful, your mobile site should be user friendly and optimised, so that search engines can rank it and your market can find it.
There is a lot that goes into mobile SEO, but here are a few tips to help you start earning higher rankings.
Do Mobile-Specific Keyword Research
Your market may use different search terms when they use their smartphones. For example, they may be doing local searches or they may use shorter phrases. As you brainstorm keywords and do research, keep this in mind and make sure the words you decide to target are words a mobile audience would use.
Use Less Rich Content
Rich content like photos and videos don’t really help with SEO efforts because search engines can’t read their content. Another problem with these is that they often take more time to load, which can make your mobile site more clunky and less user friendly. If you do use rich content, use it sparingly and be sure to use content in conjunction with it to help your pages rank.
Don’t Condense, Just Reorganise
It can be tempting to remove content from mobile versions of your site, but this gives you fewer opportunities to use keywords to rank your site. Instead of getting rid of keyword-rich content, try reorganising it so it’s more readable on a small screen.
Grouping your content into smaller sections and using a navigation menu that organises everything so that it is more readable is a good way to make your site better for mobile users. A page full of content on a tiny screen can be overwhelming to visitors, so break the text up and organise it so it’s more user friendly.
Don’t Use an App to Replace a Mobile Site
Mobile apps have their benefits, and may have a place in your Internet marketing strategy, but they shouldn’t replace your mobile site. Search engines can’t read and index content in apps, so you are missing out on potential rankings if you rely on this content. Use mobile apps in addition to, not in place of, a mobile site.
Prioritise the User Experience
With all the optimisation strategies you implement, don’t forget to prioritise your users’ experience. Your site should be easy to read and navigate. Google encourages businesses to create user-friendly mobile sites and actually provides a list of common mistakes made on mobile sites. You can use the list to make sure your site is free of errors that could drive visitors away.
Mobile SEO is an important part of a successful Internet marketing strategy. Your site should be easy for people to use on their tablet or smartphone and should be fully optimised so search engines can read and index it, making it easier for your market to find.
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