The Difference Between A Real Seo And A Designer Who “Does” Seo

A post came up recently in one of the SEO forums I frequent, where a business owner said his website designer — without his knowledge, apparently intending this to be a “bonus service” — had starting “doing SEO stuff” on his site.

What brought this to the site owner’s attention was some unusual activity in the log files. When the owner asked, the designer told him this was just the person who was “helping” with the SEO doing some things to “push the numbers.” According to the site owner, the designer was vague about the details of this so-called “number-pushing” or what exactly had been done to the site for this alleged SEO work. Understandably, the site owner was concerned.

Quite rightly, the forum members advised this business owner to go back to the designer and get the details of what, specifically had been done and was planned to do — and if there was anything in there that sounded “fishy,” to insist that it be undone, pronto.

For whatever reason, a lot of website designers, copywriters and programmers lately seem to have decided to start offering “SEO services” as part of their packages. I’m sure most of them mean well, and I’m sure few of them set out with the intention of causing harm to their client’s sites

However, there’s a big difference between somebody who “does SEO” and somebody who’s spent the time it take to learn how to do SEO right. And a lot of damage can be done — however inadvertently — by someone whose primary expertise is design or writing or programming or marketing or whatever and who hasn’t taken the time to learn the ins-and-outs of effective, ethical search engine optimization.

Many search engine optimization professionals started out in design, copywriting or programming. This in itself isn’t necessarily a red flag. But whoever you have “doing SEO” on your site should be able to explain, clearly and in plain language, what they’ve done and what they’re planning to do to promote your site’s pages.

If they can’t (or won’t), keep looking until you find an SEO professional who will.

A Quick Branding Exercise For Your Blog Or Business

What drives people to choose your blog/product/service over another? How does owning your product or subscribing to your blog or service make your customers feel about themselves? Heres a short – but difficult – exercise in branding:

Ask yourself

My product/service gives others exactly what they need to become a ______ person.

Here are some examples

  • Kiva: an important person
  • NPR: an educated, well-rounded person
  • Apple: an artistic, open minded person
  • Starbucks: a more sophisticated person
  • Gap: a trendier person
  • Whole Foods: a wholesome person
  • Guess: a sexy person

How To Generate New Business Through Email Marketing

You may have been successful at growing your business using differing channels like word of mouth, referrals or social media. If you are looking at using email marketing, there are always excellent tips you can use to generate new leads for your business. If you are experiencing frustration with optimizing your email marketing here is how you can develop your business through email marketing.

Effective subject line

The first element of a successful email marketing campaign is a subject line. You need to use a catchy and intriguing subject line that ensures that the recipient will be interested. The idea of having a subject line is creating enough interest to get customers to open your email when they see it in their inbox.

Come up with a clean design

To generate new business, you will need a call to action. Be honest with yourself, do you read all your emails from start to finish, probably not. Your potential customers will most likely want to skip to the call to action if they are interested and this needs to be clear on your email. A clean design will help you achieve that. When using email marketing, make sure the emails you send are readable. Use high-quality images to make them more appealing and lots of white space. Also, concentrate on one product only if you have several in your range, the more niche your email is, the more likely people will take up the call to action.

Keep the key message above the fold

The main reason for sending an email is for people to read and understand your message. You can also consider keeping the call-to-action above the fold too. Repeat your message not more than three times throughout the email.

Create engaging content

Ensure that you have unique and engaging content to succeed with email marketing. Engaging content includes consumer aware guides, videos, photos and even case studies. People especially enjoy receiving infographics as they are easily readable. Use larger fonts to allow for easy scanning of the message. Also, provide links and details for more information.

Use incentive

Business owners can increase open rates using an incentive and adding them to the subject line. Use phrases like “top 7 tips to benefit ABC Company” or “Receive x benefit for ABC Company.”

Build Trust

To generate more leads and new business opportunities for your business, you will need contact information of your potential customers. Most of the time people will share their information with you if they trust your brand and are actively looking to purchase from you. This information is extremely valuable to your business and should be looked after in line with the General Data Protection Regulation for Business Data. You will also need to promise to your potential customers that you will look after their information which gives them peace of mind to deal with your business.

Segment emails to a subscriber behaviour

Email becomes more relevant to readers when the email relates to their habits and behaviours. Relevant email leads to more clicks, opens, and sales. Readers’ behaviours include:

  • The links that a subscriber clicked in an email
  • When the subscriber signed up
  • If a subscriber clicked on the email, however failed to convert on the landing page
  • For people who did not open the email, you can resend it. If there is a need, you can change the subject line.

Use auto-responders for opt-ins

Setting up an autoresponder that will remind your reader that they opted in is a better option than just assuming they know. Also known as trigger emails or drip campaigns, these are emails that are automatically activated once someone takes a specific step.  According to Jane from BDP Agency “Adding an autoresponder should also include bonus materials to reward readers or provide additional content. Auto-responders can be activated when someone downloads a whitepaper, place an order and fill out a contact form.”

Gate the content and tie the two landing pages

Gated contents are used by business owners to drive traffic to their business landing page. They have the information needed in exchange for a free report or something valuable like content on your business website. Your landing page should feel and look like the email. Don’t forget to utilize tracking tools. They allow you to see the landing pages and emails that performed the best.

Call to action

Call to action is where all the above tips will lead the reader. After they finish reading your email, they need to know what they need to do. Make sure you clearly state what you want your reader to do. A call to action is essential to generate new business.

Make your emails sharable

With email marketing, you can generate new business when the people who receive your email are able to share them with colleagues, friends, and family. You can ask them to share your email, add a sharing button, embedded pre-formatted tweets, add SignUp linked and social media buttons so that people can share your email on the platform

We all know that marketing strategies are evolving. People are turning to social media and other marketing strategies; however, the fact remains that email marketing continues to still generate leads for your business and email marketing is a successful marketing strategy for your business.

Excellent Link Building Tools To Monitor Inbound Links

When you are involved in search engine optimization or website marketing programs, you must be accustomed to the link building operations. The larger you obtain relevant and authoritative backlinks, larger gets your traffic and ultimately higher rankings in the search engines. For tracking the inbound links, you can take help of the following tools:

Buzzstream Link Building:  This is a kind of tool which helps in automating the superfluous tasks during the relationship building. It can be used in both the SEO applications of link building and online PR functions.

  • Manage the potential links
  • Monitor conversion rates and activities
  • Track Twitter as well as Email
  • Contact delegation , split prospects from the outreach
  • Track the backlinks for outbound links, anchor text, banned words etc.

The tool is very useful in detecting the links, relationship management, link management, etc. The bookmarklet of this tool help in adding new links with the help of the browser. The Utah SEO Services suggest this tool because the CRM can help in tracking reports accurately.

Raven SEO Tools: The SEO tool allows you for managing the link status with tasks and the contacts which are related to each link. It will alert you by default if there are any changes on the active link. If you can add the no follow attribute, the PageRank and the anchor texts can easily be changed. The link building function helps in importing and exporting the files in csv format by generating online reports.

Yahoo Site Explorer:  This is a free tool and can be used by the internet marketing company. The users can easily

  • Identify the pages which can be indexed by the search engine crawler of Yahoo.
  • Remove the inbound links from the domain
  • Export the entire result in the tsv file
  • Exclude the entire inbound links from the sub domain

PlugIn SEO Beta Linking Tools: For simplifying the SEO tasks, this beta tools can be used. The tool can be used for generating important suggestions regarding the link building.

  • In the ‘my links’ section , you can easily find the inbound links of your site
  • The reactor page can provide with suggestions
  • With the documents of the competitor links, you can easily obtain the inbound links relevant to the competitor’s site.

SEOMoz Linkscape:  This is a free version of a link tracking tool with the advanced features of the SEOMoz subscription. The search functionalities help in identifying the exact number of inbound links. In the entire version, besides judging the quality and the quantity of the links, the users can analyze the links of the competitors.

There are other tools like the Sheer SEO Backlink Watchdog, page Inlink Analyser, SoloSEO Link Building tools, and many more. Most of the tools possess free version which you can try out before finally investing on one. Make sure that the link tracker tool is also capable of analyzing the inbound links to the websites of the competitors. When you are beginning with your link building, these tools can really be helpful.

Back Links, Link Sharing, And Your Business: Connecting The Dots

One such strategy is link building. While most digital marketers already use links as part of their overall strategy, a good number don’t even know the role links play in growing the business. So, here is a cheat sheet to get you started on this topic.

What exactly are links? 

In digital marketing, a link (or hyperlink) is defined as an HTML code connecting two different resources on the internet. It could be two pages within the same website or resources on different websites. The former are called internal links while the latter are called backlinks. Usually highlighted in blue, when you click on a link, you’ll be taken to the resource at the other end of the chain.

What is link building?

Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks for your website in a bid to gain more relevance on the web. If you’re the owner of abcd.com, link building would be the process of seeking links from other sites to your site and vice versa. You can do this on your own or using a link building service provide.

What is link sharing? 

Link sharing is a form of link building where two or more bloggers or other web publishers exchange links for the mutual benefit of the group. It works excellently among businesses or publishers who sell or blog about complementary products or services. So, for instance, if you sell laptops and another member of the group provides laptop repair services, you can share links to your products such that clients on the laptop selling website will come across links to laptop repair services and vice versa. If planned well, it can work wonders for those involved.

So, why do you need link building and sharing?

There are three main reasons why;

  1. Links build relationships: As you might have discovered, you can’t do business on your own. You need other businesses for your own company to thrive. If anything, close to 50% of commerce happens between businesses in what is known as B2B trading. Links are critical in building B2B relationships.
  2. Links are necessary for favorable SEO: Aside from content, links are the most important ranking factor. They tell search engines how popular you are and even paint a rough picture of your standing within your industry. Put together; these signals will determine where you rank in search engine results.
  3. Links will get you leads and customers: It’s not uncommon for consumers to click on a link in a blog, visit the relevant website, and proceed to make a purchase. But, even if that doesn’t happen, just by getting your brand name out there, links will get you plenty of leads, over a long period.

So, if you were still not decided on link building, hopefully, you’ve learned why it’s a must-have for your digital marketing campaign in 2018. You just can’t do without links.

Content Marketing Predictions For 2020

Content marketing has been on the rise during the last years and is living up to its “King” title like there is no tomorrow. As more and more resources are being invested into content marketing, the ROI is getting harder and harder to justify.

The global market’s demands are increasing by an enormous pace and marketers strive to keep up with it, or even get one step ahead. While 2019 was the year of videos and visuals, 2020 is going to be much more than that. The stakes are as high as ever, since every business out there knows that content is the key to success nowadays, and will do everything to come out ahead.

As the dust settles after 2019, a tons of opportunities will be presented to businesses trying to outsmart their competition. Here is a list of content marketing predictions for 2020.

Content will be at the heart of every marketing strategy

This is a line that has been preached for a quite some time now, but never fully utilized by businesses. 2020 is the year when brands and companies will truly appreciate the value that outstanding content delivers and put it at the very core of every campaign and strategy, which will fuel every marketing channel, every day, all the time.

Ad block will open up new doors for marketers

More and more people are using ad blocks on every website they surf, just to make sure that they don’t get disturbed by ads and not lose precious time. As the value of ads continues to go down, many marketers will shift the budget dedicated to advertising towards content, behavioral marketing, native advertising and generally, more towards stuff that flows in the same direction as consumer behavior, preferences and needs.

The metric we focus on today will shift

Over the last year, marketers concentrated firmly on customer engagement metrics, leaving aside stuff like page views and visits. This year another major shift awaits us. Conversions will become the new king among the metrics that you need to keep track of. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to increase ROI and being able to track conversions in multiple ways (email sign ups, eBook downloads, etc.) will be the key to success.

Video will become the new mainstream

Regardless if it’s YouTube, Facebook, Vine or any other platform, video content is destined to become the new mainstream. This has a lot to do with mobile internet usage surpassing desktop, and consumers watching more and more videos on mobile every day. Just as you can’t get along without mobile anymore, you won’t be able to achieve much without video.

“Living” content

Written word and visual is still a huge part of any content marketing strategy, but just as videos became insanely popular during last year (and will continue their dominance), the idea of “living” content will start to mature. Interactive campaigns and virtual reality is what I am talking about. Consumers will spend more time and actually have fun while engaging with their favorite (or new) brands.

Content has already taken over the world and there is little that marketers can do about it. In any case, all the markets are driven by consumers: whatever they wish for should be granted to them, or else companies risk total disaster. 2020 promises to be a very tough year content-wise and I advise everybody to buckle up and be ready for it.

Charles Dearing is a writer who runs his own blog and also an experienced digital marketer. Charles writes for patientSites, and you can find his articles on different business and marketing blogs around the web.

Seo In Five Simple Steps

Despite what some people might think, search engine optimization (SEO) is not magic, and it’s not rocket science. Here, in a nutshell, are the five steps you need to follow to optimize your site for maximum search engine performance:

  1. Do keyword research and analysis to ensure you’re targeting truly useful phrases.
  2. Make sure the title tag of each page contains the primary (and if you can fit it in, the secondary) target phrase for that page.
  3. Write good, useful content for each page. Write for your human visitors, not for the search engines, but make sure the copy does contain your target phrase a time or two (or three or four).
  4. Set up internal navigation. Link your pages together using each page’s target phrase(s) in the anchor text of links pointing to the page.
  5. Seek out links from valuable, high-quality pages outside your site. Concentrate on pages likely to be visited by your target audience. Don’t get hung up on whether they’re straight one-way links or if they require you to reciprocate, and don’t get too crazy over whether they’re paid-for or free links. As long as the sites pointing to you are useful resources and attract the same crowd you want to have visiting your site, they’re good links to have. If you can get these other webmasters to use your desired target phrase in their link anchor text pointing toward you, that’s the icing on the cake.

See? Nothing to it. Now, of course, comes the hard part… the part where most webmasters trip up… putting in the necessary time and effort.

Good SEO is simple, but simple is not synonymous with effortless. If you want success, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work!