10 Tools To Improve Your Guest Blogging Results

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From sources of inspiration to creating high-quality social images to accompany your post, there is a multitude of free and paid tools that can be used to improve your guest blogging campaign. While we certainly don’t advocate the automation of guest blogging, because this quickly crosses the line into a spammy and unethical territory, there is nothing wrong with using some of the tools available to you. By reducing the time it takes to manage multiple spreadsheets, install Outlook add-ons, and unaccepted recirculating pitches, you can concentrate more of your personal resources on creating high-quality guest posting content.

So, below we have put together a list of 10 of the most useful tools;

Tools that we use, every day, as part of our guest blogging campaigns.

AnswerThePublic

Finding inspiration for new posts can be difficult. You don’t want to send rehashed versions of the same articles to multiple sites, but after you’ve pitched a few blogs, you quickly run out of ideas.

Of all the content inspiration tools out there, AnswerThePublic is the one that we return to most often. We use it for writing our blog posts, for finding buyer keywords, and we use it to ensure that we’ve covered every single base with web page content. We also use it for guest blogging.

Only add your keyword, and hit search. AnswerThePublic will then provide you with a list of relevant questions about that topic. We don’t tend to use the visualization tab, which is selected by default. Instead, we click Data so that we are presented with a list of questions. Choose one question, create an FAQ style post, or just use the results to spark some content ideas.

BuzzSumo

Want to know what readers are sharing on social media about your niche? BuzzSumo is a great tool for exactly that purpose. Although many, many tools are part of the BuzzSumo suite, we primarily use it to determine popular topics and even to help us come up with blog post titles.

Enter your keyword, with quotation marks, and then hit search. You will be given an extensive list of posts that include the number of shares they have experienced on different social media accounts.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is probably the most widely used SEO tool that we have, and while it isn’t free, if you are conducting any ongoing SEO campaign, it is worth the investment. We use it to measure the quality of a guest blog site to determine whether it is worth pitching.

You can see whether a blog has any traffic, whether it has suffered any penalties that might be passed on to you, and you can also use it to determine the most popular posts that have appeared on a blog. This gives you great information to share with the blog owner – right; they probably know which there most favorite posts are, but by showing that you do too, you also show that you’ve put some time and effort into contacting them.

SEMRush

One of the biggest challenges in guest blogging is finding a steady stream of high-quality blogs that we want to publish content on. SEMRush may not be the first tool you think of for this, but they have a new SEO Content Tool. The tool is still in Beta, but enter a keyword, and SEMRush will display a mass of information, including a list of sites where you should try and get a link from. This will often include blogs that accept guest posts, reducing the time you have to spend mastering Google search queries.

Guest Post Site Scraper

We aren’t usually fans of scrapers and scraping tools. In the case of website scrapers, they tend to end in a list of relatively low-quality sites, but if you use it correctly, then the Guest Post Site Scraper will provide you with an extensive list of websites that use your keywords or are based on your topics, and that actively encourage guest post submissions. If you do use this tool, be sure to check the quality of the sites before you go submitting work to them.

BuzzStream

When it comes to pitching websites, you will find that some site owners answer straight away. Some take days or even weeks to respond, and many will never respond at all. You can significantly improve your acceptance rates simply by following up on the pitches that you send. A spreadsheet will do the job, but BuzzStream arguably does a better job, and it does it in less time. You can even use it to find sites. It displays the email or contact address of any site that you find, and you can set reminders so that you email the site owner again in a few days.

Moz Toolbar

Writing a guest post should take time. The more effort you put into it, the greater the results you will reap. However, because it can take hours to create a high-quality post, find a list of sites, and then pitch your idea, you should ensure that you are getting the most from every post that is published. For this reason, you should measure the quality of a site before you try pitching them an idea. Moz offers a Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of every website and web page online, and these metrics are considered the industry standard for this kind of purpose. We are asked for sites with a minimum DA of 20.

SharesCount

It is important not to overlook the power of social shares as well, and the past social performance of a blog’s posts is a reasonable indication of how well future posts will perform. SharesCount is a straightforward and useful tool that tells you how often a post has been shared on the major networks and is a simpler alternative to BuzzSumo and other tools. Paste the URL and click Enter.

Pixabay

Some blog owners receive hundreds of pitches every week and must spend more time trawling through submissions than they would spend writing the posts. It stands to reason, then, that the more work you do for the site owner, the greater the chance that they will publish your piece. Add images to your post. Use screenshots where applicable, or use royalty free, stock photos and illustrations. Many websites offer this kind of content, including Pixabay.

Canvas

If you want to go the extra mile with your submission, then you can create better quality images. Use the photos and illustrations you gather from Pixabay and other sources, edit them, and add text and other items using Canvas. Canvas can be used to create stunning infographics and hero images, as well, but it is a quick and simple solution to creating social sharing images.

Using the tools above you can increase your guest blogging performance. You will be able to find content ideas more easily, judge the quality of sites that you publish to, and even incorporate images. You can track your results, and you can use the information that you gather to make further improvements in the future too.


Matt1Matt Jackson is a freelance content writer and guest blogger. He manages dozens of campaigns, crafting high-quality content, and submitting to beneficial blogs to gain exposure for websites around the world. Visit brandingmedia.co.uk for more information on Matt’s services.

A Detailed Guide to Advanced Search Operators for SEO

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First things first, Google gets as much as about 78% of worldwide search volume, which makes it the biggest source of organic traffic. Perhaps so much so that you wouldn’t even want to bother with another search engine in most cases.

However, over the past few years, Google has gotten extremely stringent with SEO. If you’re aware of the recent SEO trends, you likely know that Google is penalizing sites with shady SEO practices more aggressively than ever before.

This certainly calls for some quality and well-thought-out SEO strategies, as those typical SEO tools are no longer going to cut it. So without further ado, let’s walk you through some highly advanced search operators that may turn out to be extremely useful in coming up with sophisticated SEO strategies that are both safe and efficient.

Advanced Search Operators

Allinanchor: This search operator is going to pull up all pages that are linking out to sites using a particular anchor text. For example, “all in anchor: Best SEO Company” is going to return pages that are linking out to sites using the words “best SEO company” as the anchor text.

Allintext: This is something you can use to find pages that contain particular words in their text. For instance, searching for “allintext: SEO checklist” is going to get you results that include the words “SEO” and “list.”

Allintitle: Similar to the above one, this search operator would return pages that have particular words in their title.

Allinurl: This will help you find URLs containing particular words.

Author: Google will only show you results from Google Groups that are newsgroup articles written by the author you’re searching for.

Define: This search operator is similar to the above one but would help you get definitions for what you’re searching for.

Intext: This is related to “allintext,” but has a slightly different use. For example, if you search for “Rand Fishkin intext: SEO” (without the quotes), then you would get results that mention SEO in the text, but “Rand” and “Fishkin” may not necessarily be referred to in the text.

Intitle: Similar to the above search operator, this helps you find results with specific words in the title, while the other words that you do not put after the search operator may be mentioned anywhere in the article.

Site: This search operator would allow you to restrict the search results to only the site you put after it. Example: “SEO tips site:getplusfollowers.com” (without the quotes) would only get you results that talk about social media tips from getplusfollowers.com.

Inurl: It works the same way as intext and intitle do, pulling up results that contain particular words in the URL while the other words that are not put after the search operator can be anywhere in the article.

Link: This search operator will only return all pages that link to a particular site. However, if you’re trying to find the external links to a site, you can use the “minus” search operator along with the “link” one.

For example, if you search for “link:google.com -site:google.com” (without the quotes), you would only get external pages linking to google.com, and not the ones from Google’s site.

Finding Link Building Opportunities

The beauty of these search operators is that they make it incredibly easier and efficient to find great link building opportunities, which can otherwise be very time-consuming and a downright tedious task. The infographic talks in great detail about how you can go about using these search operators to find link building opportunities.

Advanced Google Search Operators
Created by SEO Optimizers


brandon-gpBrandon Leibowitz, owner of SEO Optimizers, has been involved with digital marketing since 2007 with an emphasis on search engine optimization. He runs a sports blog as well called shralpin.com. His knowledge and advice has helped countless people improve their online presence.

7 Steps To Earn Natural Backlinks Using Case Studies

7 steps to earn natural backlinks with case studies featured image

How often do you write case studies?

We write more case studies than the typical blog posts because people like to read, share, and link to them.

A case study shows the challenges, the strategies employed, as well as the results a particular brand or website got. I will show you how to earn natural backlinks using this powerful content format.

Once upon a time in the history of SEO, all you need to rank your pages on Google’s first page is to stuff your content with keywords and build lots of link to it, and within a few days, your page will be sitting right there.

As you would expect, effective SEO is no longer about quantity, but the quality of links pointing to your valuable pages.

And if you’re wondering why it’s like that, this screenshot from Brian Dean gives a better clarity:

backlinko natural links

Brian is referring to natural links here. This is the type of links that will stand the test of time, and will not put your site at risk.

What do you consider a natural link?

Essentially, natural links according to Moz are those links that are relevant, useful, and flows smoothly into the context of the page. Often times, for you to get a natural link you don’t have to ask for it, but rather, you focus on creating quality and linkable content that people find irresistible and therefore share it.

Although, it’s difficult to earn links without inducing it, but while you’re making efforts to improve your organic rankings don’t go the unnatural way.

improve organic rankings

Google’s Head of Webspam Matt Cutts also stated that your links should be natural if you want to build a strong foundation for sustainable organic rankings.

 

matt cutts natural links

So, why should you build natural backlinks in the first place?

Typically, you’ll agree with me that the benefits of natural links are obvious. Alex Chris gave some good reasons why you should concentrate on building this type of links, below is an excerpt from his post:

benefits of these links

With that said, here are the seven proven ways to earn natural links using case studies.

Step #1: Begin With Why

Getting a link could ultimately improve your search rankings, but should you dwell on that?

I don’t think you should.

Instead, you want to go for links that will get you traffic first, because Google wants activity on your link. So “Your Why” for creating a case study isn’t solely to get links, but traffic and clients. And remember, traffic comes from delivering value.

How do you offer value?

Here’s the idea: You want to provide your audience with an actionable step-by-step guide to implementing what you’re talking about. For example, if your case study is about influencer marketing, then you must make it actionable so that readers can act on it immediately.

In his classic book, “Start With Why,” Simon Sinek stated that for you to succeed at anything, you must know your “WHY,” the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do.

simon sinek

Now, in your own case, your focus is to offer great value via the case study and in exchange, get lots of targeted traffic which will end up bringing you a good number of natural links.

Step #2: Identify Questions Through Market Research

The next step is to carry out market research and find out what questions people are asking regarding the topic you want to cover.
For me, the best place to get this is Quora.

For instance, why browsing Quora, I saw someone asking the question:

How can I generate leads for a B2B Civil-Based Startup?

Below is the answer someone gave to the question:

how can I generate leads for a B2B civil based startup on Quora

So, if the topic I want to cover in the case study is related to lead generation, after going through the answers to that question, I already know some of the things I should include.

As a rule of thumb, always create case studies based on questions that users are asking or topics that are complicated in a way.

Step #3: Pick Long-Tail Keywords

Now that we’re done with market research, we also need to know what keywords people are using to find the topic in the search engines.

Most people make the mistake of conducting keyword research with the assumption that they’re doing market research – but they’re not the same.

When it comes to keyword research, because of the competition is virtually every industry today, you need to focus on long-tail search terms.

One of the best tools out there for digging up long-tail variations of head keywords in any niche is KeywordTool.io

keywordtool-io

Using the lead generation topic as our example, input it into the search box (select Google.com from the options), and click on the orange search icon at the extreme right.

Here’s the result you’ll get:

keyword tool io result

As you can see, the highlighted section is just a tiny list of long-tail keywords that you can target. Each of these can be used for your case study. It’s that simple.

For example, your case study could have any of these titles:

  • Case Study: How 10 B2C Companies Used These Lead Generation Strategies to Grow Their Business
  • Case Study: 5 Proven Lead Generation Strategies To Grow Your Business

Better yet, you can get specific with your titles. Here’s an example case study from Contently:

contently genpact case study

Step #4: Choose a Topic to Create the Case Study On

A case study is meant to bring you leads and clients, so you need to be careful while choosing your topic. The truth is, you need to focus on customer needs, process, systems, and metrics to drive consistent traffic – which in turn will lead to more links.

traffic chart

For instance, if you’re a social media expert, you shouldn’t create a case study on search traffic or link building. Instead, you want to focus on social media and show examples of companies that got success, and how they did it.

Here’s an example from Conductor, a Competitive Intelligence and Search Engine Marketing Company. Their case studies are primarily about SEO, content strategy, and the exact steps they used to grow their client’s business.

Though the case study is gated (you need to opt-in to access it), but can you see how relevant it is?

conductor search light traffic growth

Remember that when creating your case study that it doesn’t have to come from you directly — it could be from other credible and authoritative sources.

Perhaps, your competitor was able to increase his client’s revenue by 37%, if that’s the case, you should share his case study instead. It’s totally fine.

Step #5: Curate Case Studies from Authority Sites

As I stated earlier, the case study must not be from you directly. You can also share other people’s success, but if you’ve implemented what you want to teach and it worked for you, it will be even better.
To find other company’s case studies, just go to Google and search with any of these search operators:

  • Case study + “put your topic here.”
  • Success story + “your topic goes here.”

For example, when I searched with: case study + “increase revenue” here’s what I found in Google:

case study increase revenue

As you can see, you’ve got more case studies to share with your audience. Interestingly, potential clients don’t want to know whether the case study is from you directly or curated, as long as it’s actionable they’ll want to work with you.

More so, other websites will link to this resourceful content because they’re hard to come by — they’re based on verifiable results — not everyone can provide that.

Step #6: Notify Websites That You Linked To

This is particularly applicable when you curate case studies from third-party sources. Creating the case study alone will not bring backlinks, you must persuade people to share and possibly link to it. You’ll do this by reaching out to people that will potentially link to you.

The best way to go about this is to reach out to the blogs you curated their case studies and notify them that you linked to them. They’ll love it, share it, and even link to it.

You can use this simple email script to contact them:

Hello [first name],

I know you’re busy, but I just wanted to inform you

that I referenced your case study in my latest resources.

You can check it out her: http://put your case study URL here

You can share it on Twitter if you think it’s useful.

Thank you.

[Your Full Name]

Keep your email short and straight to the point. There’s no need for unnecessary pleasantries.

You can contact them via email, contact page, or social media and let them know you mentioned them in your case study, they will check out the content, and if it’s good enough, they won’t have any other choice other than to share and link to it.

Step #7: Share With Micro-Influencers

The final step is to find micro-influencers and reach them via Twitter or Facebook. You can easily find these micro-influencers using Buzzsumo.

With this tool, you can uncover influencers who shared a particular post. These are the same people that would like to share your own post if it’s really helpful (it should).

In this instance, if I want to find out the influencers that shared a viral post that’s related to lead generation using Buzzsumo, it’s so easy, just enter the keyword into Buzzsumo search box, then click on “View Sharers.”

buzzsumo

Notice the highlighted link (View Sharers)? Once you click on it, Buzzsumo will show you a list of influencers that shared the articles.
You can now contact them via Twitter or Facebook and let them know that you have an even better article they might want to share with their audience.

Conclusion

Compelling content has made link building a lot easier. Sure, content comes in different forms, but a case study seems to connect with the right audience more intimately.

Google has evolved so much. If your content page doesn’t deserve to be at the top of the SERPs for your keyword(s), then any work you put link building might be wasted. Create more case studies, connect with micro-influencers, and earn natural backlinks.

I would like to hear from you, did you earn natural links from your case studies?


michael chibuzorAbout the Author – Michael Chibuzor is a Content Marketing Expert and founder of http://Saasbrand.com, a friendly brand that helps software marketing companies grow their business. You can reach him on Twitter @mikecoder

Why Blog For Business – Real Reasons to Start a Corporate Blog

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Learn How Your Business Can Benefit from Blogging

Blogging for business is important, no matter how big or small the business may be. Even small businesses with limited budgets can benefit from blogging.

Something which I encounter a lot is business owners who misunderstand the purpose of starting a corporate blog. People fear what they don’t understand which deters them from trying it out, and most of those who do just end up publishing company news which, let’s be honest, only reach a tiny audience. So why bother, you ask?

Well, let’s evaluate.

What does every business owner care about the most? That’s right; the bottom line. The highest priority is sales because earning money is the reasons why they started their company in the first place. In this post, I will explain how blogging effectively can increase your bottom line – if it is done the right way!

2 Common Myths About Business Blogging Goals

  1. People read your blog and immediately purchase your product
  2. People enter your home page or other landing pages, see that you have an excellent blog and that influences them to purchase

There is nothing more to add here; this is not how blogging brings you extra cash, and that’s the long and short of it.

Factors which Influence Purchase Decisions

Before we move further, it is critical to mention (at least briefly) the factors that do influence consumers during the purchase decision process. If you want to dig deeper, you can find more details here and here.

To summarize, here is my short list –

  • Product quality and pricing
  • Web site design, usability, and responsiveness
  • Content shared by people they know and trust
  • Brand familiarity and strength

Again, there is no really need to go into too much detail here. It is clear that there is no way we can influence p.1 and p.2, but what about the other two points? If you want people to know about you, trust you and to spread the word about you and your business, then blogging is the ultimate weapon at your disposal.

SEO and Traffic

Frequent and quality content updates are factors which play a role in your SEO ranking. If you regularity publishes new content, it positively influences domain-level authority. The more often you upload recent articles, the better. This may prove difficult to achieve this every day, but that is not necessary; twice a week is a good rate to start with.

If your only goal is to signal to Google’s bots that you have updated your website’s content to give you an SEO boost, then publishing articles of around 500 words would be sufficient. However, should you be seeking black-belt business blogging which results in quality traffic, valuable leads and that contributes to your brand’s authority, then you need to take a ninja approach to SEO-friendly blogging.

Here are the fundamentals which you need to take into consideration;

Do keyword research and write SEO-friendly articles to drive more traffic to your blog

Create well-researched and illustrated content; the more time people spend reading your posts, the better. Dwell time is a ranking factor too.

Write longer posts; count the number of words in the blog posts which rank top 10 for the keyphrase you want to be ranked for. You may also want to refer to this post by serpIQ for even more details about content length.

Link to other pages of your website or blog to reduce bounce rate, and do not be afraid of linking to reputable outside sources.

content-length-ranking-factor

The Buyer’s Journey and Business Blogging

What is the buyer’s journey? It is a three-step process which begins when buyers realize that they have a problem, continues as they seek ways to solve it and concludes as they choose a solution.

Here are the three steps, explained;

  1. The Awareness stage: during this stage, the buyer realizes he or she has a problem and looks for the ways to solve it.
  2. The Consideration stage: they buyer does in-depth research and analysis of the available solutions.
  3. The Decision stage: the buyer finds a suitable solution to get the problem solved.

Business blogging is a great way to catch the buyer’s attention at the point when they realize they have a pain point because it is during this stage that they look for additional information (educational content, testimonials, and customer feedback) that would help them to solve the problem. This is where you must show expertise in a well-researched and informative blog article.

Understanding your prospects’ needs is of vital importance; for this reason, you may want to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fake character with the traits of your ideal customer. You need to create as many of them as it is necessary for your particular business goals. The number of details you may want to include also varies; it may be sex, age, income, education, shopping preferences, goals, challenges, etc.

Small Local Business Blogging Tip

This small business blogging tip is a real life example, and it is all about driving highly targeted traffic that brings sales.
This plan formed after I analyzed the Google AdWords data of one of my clients, a home window repair company. Search queries with local intent were bringing them results from a conversions point of view (they were enjoying a conversion rate of approximately 20% in Google AdWords).

The client offers their services in 30 cities, and there are about ten groups of keywords which describe the type of problems which they solve (30 x 10 is 300 extra pages to create!).

We created local landing pages for major services in each city, however, were still too many key phrases which we wanted them to rank highly for.

Our page title looks like this:

[service name] + [city name] + [state name]
Creating 300 pages with similar, directly selling content might have been a good idea, but Google loves content which brings unique value to the world wide web. So, what did we do?

We decided to blog about their services. We created short case studies, detailing jobs which have been done in different cities. Fortunately, the client always takes before and after photos of their most exciting projects, so there was no lack of visual content.

This is where the concept of telling success stories was born; a strategy which has proven to drive precious, locally targeted traffic.

Establish Authority Through Blogging

The whole article is dedicated to one single thesis statement only – blogging, if done the right way, is one of the best tools to build authority and trust. Econsultancy’s study revealed that 61% of the customers read reviews before they purchase something online. As you can see, trust is everything in a digital world, especially if you are selling an expensive product or a product which requires accurate and in-depth knowledge (such digital marketing, law, medicine, etc.) which a regular person has only broad understand of.

Becoming an authority

In the real world, you cannot become a power by just declaring it; customers need proof. Writing quality, well-researched and illustrated articles is the great way to establish yourself as an industry expert.

People buy from people

People buy from people, but not from brands, which is why you should consider publishing blog articles under your real name. If consumers like your content, they will be more likely to interact with your brand; they will express their point of view, they will ask questions or even debate. This builds a closer emotional connection between you and your audience and helps to establish relationships, which is key to the success of your business.

Build Your Email List

Even though everybody’s inbox is stuffed to the brim with emails (many of are junk emails), email marketing is still a very powerful marketing tool! If done the right way, email marketing can help you to gain trust, credibility and become a kind of a friend or a friendly consultant – not a stranger. The best part is that email marketing is relatively cheap, easy to implement and it usually doesn’t take much time.

If you write great blog articles, then why not to share them with your subscribers? The hardest part of email marketing is building a customer list. Your success directly depends on its quality; people must be interested in the content you produce. This is where blogging can help.

However, if you just have a hard-to-notice Subscribe option somewhere under your category links, that will not work for everybody. I suspect that only the top resources can afford such a shy approach to inviting new readers to sign up for their newsletters.

What You Should Consider Is:

  • Ensuring that there is a good reason for the reader to share their email address with you
  • Ensuring that your sign up offer is easily noticeable and well-designed
  • Ensuring that the process is simple; try to avoid complex forms
    If you have huge amount of data, test as much as you can to find what works best for you

Lead magnet (a free to low price offer) is an excellent way to build your emails list. You can provide a free e-book, private blog section access, a free report, a cheat sheet or a discount in exchange for an email address. It is paramount not to disappoint subscribers, so you must make sure your lead magnet brings real value.

image13-3

Conclusion (Spoiler or, maybe, not)

Content marketing, no doubt, is a powerful tool and corporate blogging plays a significant role in it. However, to ensure that everything you have read here works for your business goals, writing alone is not enough. You will see little to no results if nobody ever reads your articles, i.e., If you have no traffic.

If you want search rankings, then you need to invest in building links. If you want extra traffic from social media channels, then you need to grow your following and perhaps use paid advertising. If you have a limited budget, then you need to find time for guest blogging, time to participate in relevant forums, social media groups, people outreach and other activities.

Is this difficult or tedious? Not at all!

I want to finish off with a positive thought; even though business blogging will not make you quick bucks, it puts one more coin into the bank of your brand’s success every time you publish a new quality blog article. Start small and find out what works best for you and once you find your groove then accelerate your efforts. Happy blogging!


Alex OmelchenkoAlex Omelchenko is an SEO and PPC expert. He is a happy dad, British Fold cat owner and a COO at ProfCopy, a content writing firm. Alex Omelchenko is the CEO and a co-founder of ProfCopy, a copywriting firm. Alex is also astute in search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. He is the happy owner and biggest fan of his Scottish Fold cat. You can follow Alex on Twitter.

53 Essential Website Features for Local Business Owners

53-essential-features-owners

A successful business website is not just about great products and services. Many local websites only fail to attract customers because of subtle design flaws that can go unnoticed by an untrained eye. While generic web designing best practices work as a good starting point, to stand out from the crowd, your local business site needs some extra fine tunings.

I work for WebAlive, a web design company and we recently published an infographic that shows 53 essential features for local business websites. I think you’ll find this infographic to be a useful guide for designing or improving the site of your own.

The infographic begins with the crucial advice of having a cc TLD domain for your local business. Then it gives an outline of a conversion friendly homepage, providing a complete list of elements that it should have. Next, it suggests a page by page structure of the whole site, mentioning important elements that those pages should contain.

Apart from the design elements, the infographic goes into some of the technical aspects which will help in SEO and improve your site’s performance. These include the advice of including the Google search console and LocalBusiness schema – a crucial thing that most of the local business sites ignore. It also warns against some of the common bad practices that you should avoid.

Take a look at the infographic below to improve your local business website.

local-business-website-features

Does your site have all the essential features mentioned here? Which features do you think are the most crucial for a small local business site? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

 


Liakat Hossain is a content marketing professional at WebAlive, a company that provides web design, development and online marketing services. He is helping businesses grow with search and content marketing since 2011. Connect with him on Twitter. 

How Important is SEO? 10 Expert Quotes

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is undeniably a crucial factor in making your website easy for both users and search engine robots. It has a set of rules where website or blog owners can follow and optimize their site thus achieving a better Google page ranking. Although search engines have become more sophisticated, new updates are created and developed now and then. When marketers take the time to analyze the process, the sequence and the methodology of SEO in your business development will always be able to justify.

SEO plays a crucial role in online business website since search engine serve millions of users every day looking for answers to their questions or even solutions to their problems. Simply put, if your website is not engaging in SEO, you are not going to be on the first page of results. In fact, this is one reason why even competitive companies such as SEO Philippines makes use of a guaranteed SEO. To give you more of it, below are some reasons quoted from the experts as to how important SEO is.

search-engine-optimization  

 

1. “Basic search engine optimization (SEO) is fundamental. And essential. SEO will help you position your website properly to be found at the most critical points in the buying process or when people need your site.”Victoria Edwards

 

2. “The beauty of SEO is that, instead of pushing a marketing message onto folks who don’t want to hear what you have to say, you can reverse-engineer the process to discover exactly what people are looking for, create the right content for it, and appear before them at exactly the moment they are looking for it. It’s pull vs. Push.”Cyrus Shepard

 

3. “Search engines aren’t trying to make life harder for website owners. They see search as a product, and as they improve their product, the game changes by default.”Kathryn Aragon

 

4. “Search engines are unique in that they provide targeted traffic – people looking for what you offer. Search engines are the roadways that make this happen. If search engines cannot find your site, or add your content to their databases, you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site.”Rand Fishkin

 

5. “Think of SEO this way: If a customer-focused content marketing program is the sandwich, then SEO is the mayonnaise. It touches nearly everything and enhances the overall flavor of the sandwich, but on its own, it’s not very appetizing.”Lee Odden

 

6. “These days, a practitioner of search engine optimization is more of a content experience analyst who focuses on optimizing and deploying content across multiple devices and platforms. it’s all about building high-quality, useful, intent-based content for all stages of the buyer journey so as to be there in a consumer’s moment of need.”Winston Burton

 

7. “SEO is a long-term investment, and every company needs to be prepared to invest in the work of SEO over the long term. Frequently publishing unique and valuable content is the first step, but the ongoing work of SEO will be continually promoting the content, building social media channels, and building the overall brand by developing relationships with reputable websites and blogs.”Jayson DeMers

 

8. “Some marketers who work on SEO may cling to technical considerations and/or black hat strategies, and insist content marketing is just one small part of an SEO strategy. There are also content marketers who ignore SEO and dreamily whisper, “If I build it, they will come.” But as Google’s algorithms become more sophisticated and more adept at understanding and identifying high-quality content, marketers need to see the light: good content is good Seo, and good SEO drives good content.”Nate Dame

 

9.  “The success of very websites now depends on search engine optimization and digital marketing strategy. If you are on the first page of all major search engines then you are ahead among your competitors in terms of online sales.”Dr. Christopher Dayagdag

 

10. “But let’s pretend there was a secret set of rules. Ten things that everyone said you absolutely HAD to do. Would you do them? Would you follow the exact same template that everyone else was using so that you had zero chance of stand out? If you would, you’re a moron.”Lisa Barone

Regardless of the size of your business, investing in an organic and guaranteed SEO creates a great impact on its growth. Despite the challenges, every marketer face regarding the lack of organic keyword date and traffic, following an SEO strategy is still a must. After all, your business gets the desired traffic while maintaining the level of the search engine. Additionally, it does not only get you high-quality traffic from diverse sources, but search engine optimization can help your business have repetitive visitors, which would eventually lead to higher conversion rates.

quality-traffic


raphaelRaphael Rico Zamora is a Filipino Blogger, and a digital marketing enthusiast at SEO Philippines. It is a company that develops mobile apps, SEO, and web design company in the Philippines

Tips To Optimize The Search Results Of Your Brand Name Your Way

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Most of SEO experts focus on the keywords that match the industry or brand to get organic search results. This way you will have to depend on the online users who have searched for the products or services you are offering without knowing your brand.

But then, what about the people who know you and your brand? For these people, you will need to come up with search results that support your brand and can help in more conversion rates. Such branded search results should focus on certain features:

Effective headline with description – The headline and description should provide clear and precise information about the brand.

Sitelinks – There you will find sub-sections which give you a brief idea about the internal pages in the website.

Use of Google Knowledge Graph – If you search for a particular brand, you will find on the right side of the search pages a knowledge graph which offers you company information including the address, a map, opening times, reviews, etc. This has been made available by the use of the Google Knowledge Graph.

Other results – Just after the brand website, you will find some search results for the brand linked with different social media platforms.

If you look at the bigger picture, you will understand that all this information helps to offer a better idea about your brand and establish authority in the industry.

So keeping these features in mind, here I am with some amazing ways to improve your brand visibility. 

google-knowledge

Mention brand name

First of all, you have to be sure to mention the brand name on every web page of your website. This will help to link the pages with the homepage. Another important step you need to take is to optimize the title tags and meta description with your brand name and company information.

Site links that are expanded

Everyone wants the site links to be bigger but, as it is an automated process based on the user queries, it is not possible to change it. So the only thing you can do is optimize the site navigation and write a better title and meta descriptions for each and every one.  

Based on the search queries of your brand, Google will decide whether it is important to offer expanded site links to your website. The chances of getting expanded site links increases if you have more branded search traffic. So to get such traffic, it would be better to concentrate on content marketing strategies.

Social media profiles

Whenever the user makes a branded search query, chances are greater that your social media profiles may appear in the results. So it would be advisable that you provide as much information as possible on your social media accounts. Now make sure to link all the social media profiles to the homepage of your website as well as adding links to the account from your site. 

social-media-women

Knowledge graph entry

 Based on the available information, especially from your site, the Knowledge graph will complete the details. You can better indicate to Google to let it know which information is more relevant and important.

Google reviews

Google reviews appear in the search results, especially on the Google Knowledge entry. So it becomes necessary for you to focus on it. You will be able to get a boost in organic traffic with the help of reviews that you have earned. Moreover, the quality and quantity of these reviews will help to decide the worth of your company.

You can request that your customers write a review for your brand, and if you find any negative ones, you can work out ways to solve it. It is recommended to have a Google My Business profile before you work getting any reviews.

 star-reviews

Branded articles

When it comes to search result pages, the top results are composed of the website and social media profile results. Often times, the chances are greater that there will be some space left for other brands on the first search results page. This area can be taken over by irrelevant information. Therefore, try to fill it with positive results belonging to you.

You can easily achieve it through articles including interviews, press releases or other sources that can help you promote your brand.

Link to your favorite results

If you want to boost the position of individual search results, then build links to those results. With more inbound links pointing towards these results, the ones on the second pages and beyond will also get a boost. You can even come up with links for the important pages on the website.

By taking these steps, you will be able to improve the search result position of your brand and the searches related to your brand name will show up in the higher positions on the Google. Moreover, better rankings on the search pages will help you get more click-through rates as well as improved conversions.


maulikMaulik Patel is a Creative Entrepreneur and managing director at HireSEOAgency, a top SEO company of India. He has more than seven years of experience in small business growth strategies, content marketing, and technical SEO.

How Not to Do SEO in 2017: On and Off-page Insights

how-not-seo-2017

When establishing an SEO strategy, many ask themselves whether to put more focus on off- or on-page, when in fact, they are both crucial for success. They represent two completely different sides of one fence in terms of improving search engine rankings, however, they should both be equally tended to.

The only question should be – which one to focus on first. Think of it like you’re building a house: on-page SEO would represent the basis, a solid foundation on which you will build the rest, that is, off-page SEO. Occasionally, you will have to go back to the foundation and do some maintenance, but most of all you need to make sure you are constantly balancing between the two. Ultimately, you’ll help make your website bilingual, meaning it will be both user and search engine optimized.

Inspired by the latest February algorithm update many were shaken by, we’ve decided to list top SEO don’ts you should steer away from in 2017.

On-page SEO

mobile-devices 

Long Titles and H1 Tags

With Google’s mobile-first policy, it’s important to note that long titles get cut on smaller screens and penalize your CTR. Also, if you include too many keywords in it, you can lower the impact of the primary one. When looking to rank for a particular product or service, ensure the title contains the brand and the product name, as well as that the H1 tags include product reference to improve identification.

Indexable Pages for Individual Products

Letting Google index all product declinations can lead to penalization. With this in mind, we propose a system of doorway pages. This page would be the one ranked for the product page, but avoid linking to doorway pages which are not related semantically. Still, ensure they use Follow, as they can drive some link juice to close semantic-related pages.

Not Migrating to HTTPS

As SSL certificate stands as a proof that your website is secure, you might experience a drop in traffic if you remain in HTTP. During the process of migration, set aside the time to clean up the website as you are going to do a lot of 301s. So, if you have many old redirections, check to see whether Google fetches them; if not, feel free to delete them or block with the robots.txt. For more detailed explanation on HTTP to HTTPS migration, check out the Search Engine Land guide.

Cloaking

With search engines becoming smarter by the day, they can easily detect those who are developing two types of content on their websites: one for search engine and one for visitors. Cloaking basically means showing software generated content and ads to visitors, while hiding all the negative sides, only showing them to search engines. Nowadays, these double standards are instantly assigned poor rankings. 

Duplicate Content

Although most marketers are aware of the fact that duplicate content leads to instant penalization, there are still those who include it in their practices. For many years, marketing experts have debated on the definition of duplicate content, and Google defines it as substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match or are appreciable similar.

Off-page SEO

 Connect Connection Chain Bound Link Metal Water

Link Building

Although link building is a technique some marketers frown upon, if done properly and in accordance with Google guidelines, it can be the most reliable tool for all your SEO efforts. It is a well-known fact that inbound links play an important part in rankings and are a major ranking signal. In case the agency you are working with doesn’t provide link building, there are numerous services like SEO Reseller Hub that offer third party solutions in form of a white label agreement.

Supernatural Linking and Exact Match Anchors

If it happens that you get between 100 and 600 referring domains on a competitive query, chances are these links did not come naturally. The same goes for exact match anchors – it is highly improbable that one page receives them for a specific product or services you offer. Luckily, you can take advantage of SEO tools like Majestic or Ahrefs to monitor the quality of your links as well as anchor phrases.

Broken Links

Over time, it is only natural for a website to accumulate a few broken links here and there (but a few). Put yourself in Google’s shoes: which page would you feel like it is more up-to-date: the one with 10 broken links, or the one that has none? Other websites die, migrate or restructure, making your links disappear, so we advise using Google Webmaster Tools at least once or twice a year to detect broken links and correct them.  

Bottom Line

With change being the only constant in the SEO world, marketers need to learn to adjust to these endless alternations. Most search engine algorithm updates come unexpectedly, and to stay two steps ahead, you have to look in the past. Check out what Google has previously penalized, as this will give you an insight into what it will target next. Remember: for top results, you need to balance both on- and off-page optimization.


amirAmir Noghani is the general manager at agseosydney.com.au. His experience in digital marketing amounts to more than seven years. He has rich knowledge and skills in Online Marketing and Public Relations and also writing journal articles and blogs.

SEO: Why Your Business Needs it NOW?

SEO-WHY-BUSINESS-NEEDS

You might have already heard it before, but it cannot be stressed enough how important the Search Engine Optimization or SEO is in today’s digital business landscape. Now that more and more people are using the internet to look for the products and services they need, there is no more perfect time than today to build a website for your business and make it visible on the web.

In order to understand why SEO is a must, it is important to understand how it works first. SEO, according to Search Engine Land, is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. 

Although there might be other ways to attract organic traffic to your website, such as sharing your blog post on social media, and search marketing tactics like pay-per-click advertising, SEO remains to be the most cost effective driver of organic reach today.

By working on the on-page details like keywords, title tags, meta description, and off-page factors link building and social media, SEO can certainly make a website improve its visibility on the web if executed properly.

If you are still in doubt about the advantages of SEO in your business, then check this infographic from Harris Myers. We summarized its content below to help you understand why SEO should be part of your overall marketing strategy today:

  1. 93% of today’s online consumers use a search engine to look for products and services online.

  2. Marketers rate SEO as a more cost-effective medium than traditional advertising models

  3. It produces highquality website traffic that converts into leads and sales

  4. Most businesses, regardless of its size, has started doing it today.

  5. It reaches out to mobile market

  6. Its ever-dynamic nature provides new business opportunities from time to time.

To learn more about how your business can benefit from SEO, check the visual guide below.


j-dalton-01As an entrepreneur with 28 years in business Joseph has vast expertise in sales and marketing, both in Ireland and abroad, He uncovers hidden assets, overlooked opportunities, and untapped possibilities.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Blog Better for SEO

5-ways-optimize-seo

 

Blogs started out as a way for people to tell other people what was going on in the community or their lives and to interact with whoever was interested, much like what social networks are nowadays. Back in the 90s, however, blogging was all there was, and it grew in popularity.

The term “blog” was coined in 1997, just around the time when site owners realized the value of SEO. You could say that blogging and SEO grew up together. However, even though search engines are becoming more sophisticated, they ‘still don’t know the value of a web page from a human perspective.

If you want to persuade search engine robots to index your site better in a search result, you have to speak their language. This requires a bit of original content creation, maybe even engaging a professional coursework writing service. Here are five ways to optimize your block better for SEO.

Concentrate On Long-Tail Keyword Searches

When search engine bots “crawl” a site in response to a query, they look for similar or related words to that query. This is why keywords continue to be important in SEO. However, you can’t just pepper your content with the keywords in which you want to rank because that’s a red flag for search engines nowadays.

Instead of using a shotgun approach, focus on making your keyword phrases as accurate as possible to your site. A long-tail keyword phrase usually has fewer competitors than general keywords. You may not be able to see these long-tailed keywords in your research, but if you have an intimate knowledge of the likely queries your target audience will make, then you’ve got it made.

For example, if you sell anime-inspired costume jewelry, you should concentrate on creating content that contains keyword phrases such as “anime cosplay costume jewelry swords” than “costume jewelry.”

The longer the keyword phrase, the more likely you are to rank for that particular query. Of course, that limits the number of people that will type in that query, but this is your target market. These are the people that are probably looking to buy your products, so you want to give them priority over people that only want to know the definition of “costume jewelry.”

Don’t worry too much about putting in the exact phrase in the exact order. When there is not much competition for a particular combination of keywords, scattering them about in the same general area should work just as well. In most cases, if you can manage to mention it once in the title, a heading, the body, and the meta description, that would be great.

Put On-Site Elements To Good Use

The trick is to insert these long-tailed keyword phrases in the content naturally.

Bots can smell a marketing ploy a mile away. You can use on-site elements such as meta descriptions and the image alt description to sneak them in. Each of your important pages should have meta descriptions as well as title tags because these are the first things the bots and readers will see and will determine how it will rank and how clickable your page will be in the search results.

Love Your Own

search-engine-meta

Many bloggers like to put external links in their content, especially to authority sites, because that increases the credibility of their site.

This is entirely accurate and will have a positive impact on your page authority. You also want to get other sites to link you, but that’s a lot harder. However, your page ranking will benefit more from links you put in content within your site itself. The more a page is linked to a site, the better it will rank in search queries specific to that page.

Of course, you shouldn’t just put internal links willy-nilly. First, you have to decide what pages you want to rank in a search and focus on sending a lot of link juice to that site from your other pages. You want these pages to be the ones that will most benefit the readers, not your business. It seems a bit screwed up, yes, but you have to look at the long term.

Readers that like and follow your page won’t do so because they found your contact page; it’s because they read or saw something interesting or relevant to them. Eventually, they will want to know who the genius is behind such fantastic content and seek your contact information on their own, so don’t worry too much.

If your contact info or other “unimportant” pages in your site (i.e. has little content) is getting a lot of inbound traffic, you want to put a stop to that. Add an index code to these pages so that the search bot won’t index them, and a follow code for internal links to them.

Putting in these codes will redirect the PageRank flow to your “relevant” pages. Just make sure you know which pages deserve these codes. You can identify them more quickly by using apps like SiteLiner, which will give you a free detailed report of what’s wrong with your site.

If you use WordPress for your blog, use the Yoast SEO plugin to automatically put index codes for tag and category archives, which are mostly duplicate content. Like pages with no content, duplicate content leaches away PageRank flow to your key pages.

Speed Is Of The Essence

Did you know the loading speed of your site is uber important?

You probably do, because like most users today, you probably click away on slow-loading pages after a couple of seconds. However, did you know that it also affects your SEO? Oh yeah, the bots don’t like to be kept waiting either!

The best way to make sure your site loads quickly is to have a dedicated server hosting your site. That means you won’t have to share bandwidth with other sites, which can slow things down during peak hours. Of course, a dedicated server is more expensive than a shared one.If you don’t have a budget for it, you’ll have to trim some fat from your pages to keep it light.

The first thing you have to do is to find out what element in your site is likely to make loading a problem. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which will tell you lots of things you need to know about not only your load speed but mobile usability as well (always useful as most people today use mobile to browse).

You can also try Pingdom. Once you’ve pinpointed the culprits, do what you must to make them less of a drag. A common strategy is to web-optimize large images or videos.

Be A Good Egg

batman-egg-optimization

Many site owners have feared the latest search engine algorithm updates ever since the Penguin fiasco, when thousands of hours and dollars spent on offsite optimization went down the drain and resulted is many of them being penalized severely for keyword stuffing, unnatural linking patterns, and using other black hat SEO techniques. If you want to avoid stress and problems now and in the future, be a good egg and follow the rules set by Google and other search engines.

Don’t buy links. Sites that offer them are less than reputable, or they wouldn’t be selling links. It can get you banned if you’re caught. The algorithm isn’t foolproof yet, but it’s getting better at detecting suspicious links all the time. Why risk it?

Have great content. This doesn’t mean you have to be mind-blowingly creative or original. It just means your content should give value to your readers over and above your marketing goals. Sure, put in a keyword or phrase to help your ranking along, but not so much that your content becomes unreadable and unnatural. Strive for the organic style, and let the dice fall where it may. You can always use the backdoor to get in your keywords (see number 2).

Don’t duplicate content. It is perfectly permissible to reference other articles in your content if it clarifies your point with the reader, especially if you link to a high-authority site. However, don’t lift the article and post it on your blog.

For one thing, you could be sued for copyright infringement, For another, you could lose credibility and damage your search rankings. To make sure you aren’t duplicating content inadvertently, check your posts against SiteLiner or CopyScape.

The Takeaway: Optimization Does Not Have To Be Expensive

Optimizing your blog better for SEO doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Small tweaks and a sincere desire to provide relevant content to your readers are all you need.


stacey-maroneStacey Marone is a freelance writer and a social media marketer. She creates magnetic content optimized for search. In her free time, she also does volunteer work and organizes some activities for children. Her passions involve painting, reading, and writing. You can follow her on Twitter.

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