Improving Digital Performance With No SEO Strategy

One way SEO strategy has affected how people write for the web is by created the term ‘keywords’ with the launch of one of the first worldwide online indexing tools, Google in 1998. Keywords were first perceived as words you could use to attract visitors to your website, which during the first years of Google consisted too often in maximizing high search volume terms that may not be related to the page content. The first personal blogs used to attract visitors by adding popular terms at the bottom of the page or directly into the metadata. Needless to say, the volume of visitors increased significantly. Since then, Google has punished this black hat SEO strategy with the introduction of Google Panda in 2011.

However, low-quality sites continue to find loopholes to drive visitor traffic. When it became obvious that link building could improve the ranking ability of a site, unscrupulous digital entrepreneurs offered to sell backlinks, causing several websites to suffer a drop in ranking when Google introduced the quality link penalty. However, the new approach to create quality and natural-looking links is to build a link wheel. While it is not a Black Hat style, it’s fair to say that it can be difficult for businesses to maintain informative content generation across each site of the wheel.

For now, Google hasn’t yet picked on it. However, as the general quality of content is sinking across the web, it’s fair to say that the AI within the ranking algorithm might start to penalize link wheels in future.

So what is the best approach to improve your online performance durably and without risking future penalties and algorithm updates? The answer is surprisingly simple. Don’t do SEO.

Web-Strategy

The web strategy pyramid ignores people

 

There’s only so much SEO you can do

The dangers of homepage SEO

Although no marketer in their right mind would intentionally ditch their SEO strategy, there’s an important lesson to learn. Namely, SEO doesn’t always work for you. In fact, when it comes to your main web page, your homepage SEO, the answer to the question ‘should you even worry about it?’ is more likely to be NO. It’s not a matter of ignoring your homepage completely. But it’s important to understand that your homepage should not be the main linking page for your SEO strategy.

Make sure you limit your keyword choice

One of the most common mistakes made by small companies is to reproduce the same SEO strategy that works for big brands. Big brands naturally receive more links because they are more customers, more advocates, and more press. Consequently, a variety of anchor texts link to the homepage, and such a link constellation is sustainable because there is sufficient content out there to justify the diverse keywords. For small brands, the external content spreads too thin to make it work.

Manage your reputation

Additionally, it’s the constant generation of content from commentators, social media users, bloggers, and journalists that create a rich brand reputation for big brands. Because big brands are likely to have a lot of advocates, they can enjoy a positive reputation even if they sometimes get things wrong. What happens to small businesses who have a handful of dissatisfied customers? They immediately suffer from a negative reputation, which affects your ranking scores too. Ultimately, if Google notices that your brand is unpopular, it’ll push you deeper in the search results. As it is difficult for small brands to find advocates, fixing a damaged reputation is a slow and painful strategy.

You can’t win the keywords war

GDPR will affect data accuracy

If you hone your SEO skills developing keyword-ranking strategies, it is time to change your ways before the GDPR comes into force at the end of May. Indeed, the General Data Protection Regulation is an EU data privacy regulation that affects the way data collecting, monitoring and analyzing tools handle EU data. With penalties of €20 million, it’s not something you want to ignore. Unfortunately,  the GDPR will reduce the information you can get from your data processors, whether it’s Google Analytics or specialist keywords tools. Geographic reporting accuracy will be reduced in Analytics. It is currently unclear how further tools will deploy data privacy recommendations, but you can expect fewer data to improve your rankings.

The keyword search has changed

Additionally, since the apparition of voice-controlled assistants, such as Amazon Echo, the way people search online has changed. Amazon Echo, being shared by the family, can affect the way the search engine provides the most relevant results for a user. Additionally voice search transforms the way people think about keywords, as it tends to be performed in a conversational tone.

Alt text is overstated

There’s another essential voicing tool that is too often ignored, and it’s the screen reader. For the sake of accessibility, marketers insist that all alt text content should be completed, both for visually impaired users and for crawlers. The main issue with using screen readers as a cover for search engine writing is that it can generate confusing and unclear web pages. Imagine, for instance, a ‘send’ button at the end of a form. The alt text normally labels the button ‘send’ + [keywords]. The screen reader naturally reads the text ‘send’ that’s written on the button, causing duplicate and unnatural content for the user. A similar argument can be made for images used as placeholders. They disturb the screen reader experience and might ultimately be picked up by the AI learning function in Google’s algorithm.

eyes

Create useful alt text

How long do people spend on a page?

55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on any page and read only about 20% of the content. Users skip most of the content to find the answer they need, so that 70% of your SEO content is not seen. It’s a fast-paced environment, and people want immediate answers. In other words, the SEO rule of a minimum of 250 words per page is useless.

The key learning is that everything you know about SEO is changing. How long until the algorithm is updated, we don’t know. But one thing is for sure: Write for real people, not for search engines if you want to make the most of your online presence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Social Media Metrics Your Business Needs to Track

Simply having a social media account is not enough to grow your business. Just like everyone else, you probably want to get more followers, more likes, more retweets, more click-through, etc. But are all of these things going to help you boost your business?

In this jungle of social media metrics, it could be confusing for you to choose which metrics are actually important for your company. But don’t look at this in a bad way. You have a lot of data in your hands, so use this data in order to understand your audience.

Luckily there is a solution. Take a look at these four metrics that will help you achieve growth.

Engagement: Do people actually like your content?

How many times did someone take action on your posts? Sharing, clicks, comments, reactions – all of these things matter.

These actions validate your content and they will show you if your posts are important to your target audience. If you keep tracking these metrics, they will help you plan your content strategy and see what kind of post you should create, but also which post you should avoid.

The simple step is to use average engagement rate that will take your metrics a step further. It will show you a true value of your content and how it impacts your followers. You can also identify optimal time for engagement. Knowing when your audience is most active will raise your engagement, so keep tracking and post when they are online.

Never underestimate your competitors because you can learn from them. See what kind of content works for them by tracking their engagement rates.

Mentions: Does anybody talk about your brand?

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All mentions are important, whether they are written in a positive or negative manner. Your goal is to promote actual online conversations and discussions, but try to give your best to induce positive reactions.

For starter, you should become a part of that conversation and show people you care about their opinion. But when it comes to monitoring mentions, you should use these metrics in order to find out how many people are talking about your brand and more importantly – who is talking. A simple step that can inspire you to boost your mentions is to take a glance at your competitors’ mentions. Don’t steal their idea, just let yourself be creative. People will value your uniqueness.

Nevertheless, if you are having a trouble with social mention monitoring, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.

Conversion: Do you have enough traffic to your website?

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How many people took an extra step and visited your site via your social media page?

Tracking a total number of conversions will show you if your social media strategy achieves its purpose. To convert, you need to engage people by giving them a strong call-to-action. You can use analytic tools such as Google’s URL builder and collect all important data about the specific link. This will help you realize what kind of social media content is attracting the greatest amount of traffic to your page.

So, track the number of conversions that happened within a month or a week and match the data with particular content. These valuable metrics will tell you how fast your business is growing. So, if your conversion numbers aren’t where you want them to be, you can do something about that immediately. Start looking for new trends and change something in order to improve your strategy.

Sentiments: Do people like your products?

You can actually get into the mind of your customers while you are online. With a little help of sentiment and emotional analysis, you can track online conversation from all social networks and see how people feel about your products.

You would probably love to see just positive comments, but tracking negative ones will help you improve your business. A sudden spike in negative sentiment will show you what you should change. Moreover, you will be able to resolve this problem and calm people down. Maybe your brand is well-liked, but there is always a room for improvement.

These metrics bring as to a whole new level of marketing. Sentiments and emotional analysis will help you create a positive social media presence your business needs.

Track What Matters

Everyone obsesses over how many followers they have. Yes, it’s nice to have a large number of followers, but that doesn’t matter as much as you may think. What you want is for people to become familiar with your brand and your message. You want them to go to your website and buy your products. So, use these metrics in order to get to know your audience and grow your business.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

How to Rank in Google Using the Best SEO Practices?

There are numerous methods to rank in Google. Ordinarily, Google and other search engines use many similar algorithms to determine a website’s ranking. The most extensive and popular method to rank your website in Google is by exhibiting proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Digital marketing evolved as a result of the Internet revolution. SEO, for anyone who doesn’t know, is one of the branches of digital marketing or online marketing. Who knew something like SEO would become popular in the days of conventional marketing.

Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs are commonly used to refer to Google’s pages. In the SEO community, you will encounter a very typical question that says: how high do you rank in SERPs for a particular keyword? However, you must not be dazzled and remain firm on grounds that lead you to your destiny. In this article, we will cover simple yet authentic SEO methods to improve website rankings. Furthermore, you must keep these three things in mind for a better SEO: the quality and amount of the content (off-page content), backlinks, and things you can do to improve within the website (on-page content).

Method 1

Natural Optimization is the Best SEO Practice

  1. The Hunt for Keywords

Google Keyword Planner is a tool that helps you search for the right keywords. You must get familiar with this SEO tool so you can use it to your benefit. If your website is about beauty products, you can search for keywords specific to the beauty industry. In addition, they must have a higher monthly search volume i.e. many people type in that particular keyword in Google search regularly. It is a ‘best SEO practice’ to do ‘keyword research’ at the beginning.

  1. Google Trends Manifest Changing Priorities

‘Google Trends’ is an online facility showing the changing behaviors over a period of time. You see, keywords don’t always remain the same. As a general rule, the priorities in industries keep on changing giving birth to newer search phrases. Therefore, you mustn’t hold on to the same set of keywords forever. Keep vibrant and maintain your website according to the recent trends.

  1. Mobile Optimization is Essential in the Age of Smartphones

You must optimize your website for the mobile audience. Mobiles are handy instruments and quickly becoming the leading search devices leaving behind computers & laptops. If your website doesn’t load quickly on mobiles, Google won’t rank it higher in SERPs. Nonetheless, getting your website AMP-friendly will make it run like a horse in derby race. It becomes responsive to user’s commands.

  1. Adopt Google As Much As You Can

Ensuring your businesses are part of Google Plus and have ‘Google My Business Listings’ will definitely push the rankings upward. Google, by far, is the most popular search engine in the world. We must respect that and adopt Google as much as we can.

Method 2

Content Creation

  1. Content Must Not Be Plagiarized

You must write highly relevant, error-free content for your website. Google appreciates the uniqueness and rejects any plagiarism. Distinctive content creation is easily the best SEO practice. Keep it simple, to the point, and don’t forget to add keywords you want the search engine to rank you for. You mustn’t sell any wrongful information either so the users get what they want.

A graphic designer can help you with the outlook of the website.

  1. High-Quality Content

If your website is in English, not making any grammar, spelling, and sentence structure mistakes can help you earn a good position in SERPs. On the contrary, if you are simply copy-pasting content, Google knows and it will penalize your website for doing that. Your website may never be able to rank.

  1. Significance of Images

Whether you are writing on your website or promoting your website, never forget to add images to the content. Tag them with your targeted keywords which is one of the best SEO practices.

  1. LSI Keywords

You can use lsigraph.com to find the related LSI keywords against your targeted keywords. Use them throughout your content. Google appreciates those pages that include the LSI keywords. But don’t add those that are not relevant. You must use those keywords which are the most relevant to your data.

Tip – Don’t overdo keywords. Keyword stuffing can cost you.

  1. Which Keywords to Select?

You must target those keywords which have less competition. For instance, instead of choosing ‘beauty salon’, you can choose a longer keyword such as ‘beauty salon in Brentwood’ because long-tail keywords are generally easier to rank for. But it must have some searches. Targeting longer keywords is part of the best SEO practices.

Tip – Google Adwords can tell you about the competition of keywords.

  1. Sitemap – A Must SEO Tactic

A ‘sitemap’ is like a complete guide to your website and a ‘best SEO practice’. It is like a road system of your website leading people to the right products or services. Click through rate (CTR) increases by 1 % after creating a sitemap. Google likes sitemaps and you shouldn’t ignore anything that it likes to move up the rankings.

Guest Author, Fizza Arshad, has a passion for writing on various subjects.

Prepare For The Hurricane That Is Success

The dream for any business is to explode like a fireworks finale above some capital city on Old Year’s Night and, if you work hard enough, you’ll find the chances of this happening are in your favor. The dream is an exponential rise, the kind that will be written in the folklore of Forbes Magazine.

However, the dream is very different to the reality because, if you don’t prepare your business for this level of success, you’ll see it fall by the wayside thanks to good old instability. Yup, seizing the opportunity to grow requires having everything in place to rock n’ roll with the momentum you’ve earned.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a lost of ways you can effectively grow your business and ride out any and all the brisk changes that crop up on the way up:

  1. No Weak Links

The thing that makes growth possible is a sudden charge of customers running toward your gates. However, if things aren’t absolutely watertight at your end, you’ll find they turn around just as quickly as they came, taking everyone with them. That’s why you need to have everything in check. You need to make sure you are presentable from every direction, have a great online presence and that all your operations are able to run smoothly no matter how many people cue up. Think of this growth as a hurricane; the only thing that will help you survive is a strong foundation.

  1. Have The Resources

This is the balancing act that you need to master in order to make growth possible. You need to have all the resources ready without having any unnecessary overheads. Our advice: utilize technology and make the most of outsourcing. Call ATB Technologies and ask them about their cloud storage solutions so that your IT can withstand the growth, build a pool of trusted freelancers you can call on during peak times so that you don’t put your business or brand at risk of onboarding problems and have automation processes in place so that human error isn’t a burden when the pressure builds.

  1. Hire The Best Talent

Growth is not possible without having the right team around you, which is why you need to make this a priority. These people are a crucial part of your success and will either help big time or hinder you massively. Don’t just pick the person with the best qualifications though. Think about their soft skills, how they will fit in with your culture, the context they have applied their experience in so far, heir ambitions and everything else that makes up their professional personality. Yes, their experience is key, but you want them to be able to roll with the punches and fight for the same goals as you. Dedication and commitment – those are the two defining traits you are after.

  1. Perfect Your Procedures

We’ll keep this one short: you need to have the proper procedures, processes and strategies in place if you are going to seize the opportunity to grow. That means having the right systems, tech, software, workflows and everything else of that ilk. It won’t be possible to succeed without them.

Don’t Fall Into These Traps With Your Online Business!

There’s no denying that the world we live in today is almost entirely dominated by the internet. Whether you’re shopping, socialising, gaming, watching TV, or doing just about anything else, the internet is almost certainly going to be involved. Because of that, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that the business world has had to change and evolve. Online businesses are springing up every single day, and more and more people are able to create startups from virtually nothing thanks to the internet. And yet, despite this, there are a lot of businesses that end up falling at the very first hurdle because they end up falling into some incredibly common traps that come with running an online business. To help you avoid that fate, here are some of the most common pitfalls for new online startups.

trap1

Terrible web design

There’s an assumption that far too many people seem to have that as long as you have a website, you don’t really have to think about it that much. This is one of the most common reasons that online startups end up falling apart. If your web design is lacking, then customers aren’t going to be interested in your business. If it looks amateurish, then they’re going to assume that the rest of your business is the same and look elsewhere. That might sound shallow, but it’s a fundamental part of how many customers engage with businesses.

A misunderstanding of social media

Speaking of customer engagement, if you’re not using social media properly, then you’re missing out on an incredibly important aspect of your marketing. Far too many businesses end up using their social media pages for little more than copied and pasted advertising. If you do that, customers simply aren’t going to care and will unfollow your pages in an instant. You need to use social media to engage with customers on a personal level. This means creating entertaining and interesting content that they will want to share and enjoy.

Poor SEO

The other fundamental part of online marketing that is ignored all too often is that of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. One of the big changes in the internet age is that customers can now come to you rather than you advertising to them. But to do this, you need to make yourself visible to those customers. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO is the way in which you ensure that your business is the first result when a customer searches for specific keywords on search engines like Google. If your SEO isn’t up to scratch, your business is going to end up getting buried.

One of the most important things to remember is that these things don’t just impact businesses that are exclusively online. Every business needs an online presence, and if you don’t consider these things, then you’re just going to end up wasting it. Even if your business has always been based in brick and mortar, you need the internet to succeed in the modern era, just make sure that you’re using it properly.

The three most common SEO mistakes marketers tend to make

In the world of SEO, almost everyone claims to be an expert on the matter. However, that is not the case for even half the people who make that claim. SEO is much more complicated and multi-faceted that most people realise at first, plus there is also the fact that things tend to change in the realm of SEO every couple of months. Google Algorithms are the main reason for these changes.

Due to this problem, even if mistakes are made, you will not get to know about it right away. If one is not careful, there can be many instances where the marketer will not realise the SEO mistakes he/she is making until it is too late to do anything. For most newcomers, this is how things initially go at first. It can be quite frustrating at times, but then again, no newcomer enters the market rightfully claiming to be an SEO expert. Most people make mistakes and learn from them. It is as simple as that.

However, even though it can be quite hard to tell at first, there are certain mistakes and SEO pitfalls that one should be extremely careful not to fall into. That is a fact. Even if you hire an seo agency in manchester for instance or the best SEO service that you know, you need to keep these mistakes in mind at all times.

On that very note, let us take a good look at the three most common SEO mistakes:

  • Spammy links: This used to work in the past. Not anymore. Now the emphasis is firmly on quality rather than quantity. Now, Google will be able to tell in an instant the moment you try and game the system by generating spammy links. Not only is it not going to work, but your rankings will take a severe hit in the bargain.

  • Stuffing of keywords: Most of the time, it is the newcomers who end up making this particular mistake. Plus it is anything but easy to write content that is of good quality and at the same time, devoid of a high keyword density.

    Non-repetition of keywords needs to be practiced so that you can hone the art of controlling the number of keywords you use over time. When you maintain the balance of staying on topic without compromising on the required keywords, that is the aspect that will give you an edge over your peers in the market.

  • Duplicate or poor content: Not only does this kind of content rank badly, but there is also the fact that the overall relevance of the content takes a hit as well. Many services attempt this to take the easy way out of not going through the effort of creating quality content, but in most cases, this move ends up backfiring.

    Focus on making your content long, focused and in-depth with plenty of links and details. Not too long, but still. That way, you will be able to cover the entire scope of your particular topic with as many external links as possible in order to make it easier to comprehend as well.

Just remember that you need to do whatever it takes to enhance the overall performance of your site to the best of your ability. That is the bottom line. And most importantly, take all the time that you need. It is imperative that you don’t get carried away and try to finish things in a rushed and hurried manner. Doing this will be a lot more damaging to your SEO campaign than you think.

Never forget that ultimately, the smallest enhancements to your website will make all the difference in the long run. And most of all, the aspect of meaningful and quality content. The creation of the best content that you are capable of should be your number one priority at all times.

Author Bio : Steve works as a Managing Director at Gluhub, a Manchester-based branding and digital marketing agency that helps businesses improve their bottom line and profits.

 

How to Find the Best Prospects for a Link Building Campaign

Link building is a highly effective strategy for improving your business visibility, awareness and online credibility. What’s more, link building is one of the most important search engine optimization (SEO) activities. As a matter of fact, top quality backlinks are on top of the list of Google ranking factors, alongside content. But, in order for backlinks to show their full potential, they must be made on reputable and credible sources. However, finding the right prospects for backlinks is more difficult than ever.

The discovery process for high-quality links demands effort and dedication. The main reason is that you simply can’t make backlinks anywhere you have a chance to. That strategy will get you penalized. Instead, you must find excellent sources that favor good reputation in the online world, such as websites, blogs, forums etc. to make backlinks on. That way, your own reputation and credibility will improve and you’ll be able to attract more quality traffic back to your website. Here are a few ways to find the best prospects for a link building campaign.

Do an online search

The Internet is full of great opportunities; you just have to utilize your search engine and find the ones that suit you best. This is easier said than done, especially since the online world is quite saturated with various websites, blogs and content pieces. You can start things off by searching for lists. List posts are basically curated links on industry resources that point out important blogs, websites and influencers that you should check out.

Depending on the industry you’re looking to build links for, you can search for top bloggers, top blogs or experts in the industry to follow. That way you’ll find various prospects that can prove to be beneficial for your link building campaign. Again, the results and their potential may vary based on the industry you’re in. Nevertheless, you’ll gain a general idea on what sort of prospects to focus on.

Leverage tools to your advantage

Manual search can result in plenty of potential prospects for your link building campaign, especially if you’re using advanced search options, such as “intitle”, “Inurl-category”, “allintext-category” etc. However, this method may take away too much of your time when looking for prospects. If you want to speed things up a bit and get more adequate results, you can leverage link building tools to your advantage.

That way, you’ll be able to identify the right websites, blogs and influencers that match your criteria. Simply put, you’ll find the right prospect to build high-quality backlinks on. What’s more, you can also obtain contact information of prospect’s owners. That way, you can easily establish communication without having to search for contact information individually.

Competitive analysis

Another good way to find worthy prospects is to conduct competitive link analysis. That way, you’re looking into your competitor’s strategy. For instance, what are their prospects, how many backlinks they make and so on. It’s important to understand that you’re not trying to copy your competitors or their strategy.

Instead, you’re simply looking for opportunities they’ve missed out on, in order to improve your own link building efforts and gain competitive advantage. In addition, your competitor’s prospect may prove more useful to you or may lead you to even better prospect. Furthermore, checking in on your competition may also lead to great opportunities, such as spotting their broken links and replacing them with your own.

Use social media for link discovery

Social media platforms have evolved to become a powerful business tool. Social media networks are excellent means of communication and are also great resources for link prospecting. The main reason is that social media hosts a great number of people and businesses alike. That makes it easier to identify credible sources, by checking out social proof and public relations of a prospect.

Social media can help you determine important influencers and the authority they have over their followers. Moreover, you can determine your audience’s preferences and identify which websites or blogs the often visit. That will give you a good understanding on where to look for prospects, in order to build your links where your audiences are.

Finding the right prospects for link building is never easy. Your links have to be on reputable and credible sources and they need to be of top quality as well in order to produce the best outcome. The more quality your backlinks have, the better your ranking will be. Not just that, but your reputation, trustworthiness and visibility will also improve through the quality of your backlinks and the sources they’re built on.

Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com