Digital Marketing

5 Factors That Affect Your Search Engine Ranking

When creating their website or blog, people tend to think about what they’re going to post on it, thus ignoring the search engine ranking aspect of it. And even if some people realize the importance of quality SEO, because of the huge number of web pages on the internet and due to the different obstacles which may arise at any time, getting on the front page of search engines may prove to be quite challenging.

Each search engine uses a predefined formula to rank its content, and even though these formulas differed from website to website, all search engines took some common factors into account when ranking the website. Many people wish to get to the very top, but few of them truly manage to.

Next, we’ll discuss 5 of the less known factors which can affect your search engine ranking:

1. Using the wrong keywords

If you do not use the same keywords that users enter when looking for a product, your content will never reach their search results page, and thus it will not be seen by the right people. Of course, you may assume that your website is already popular, and therefore visitors access it to read its content, but the truth is that if you do not take advantage of users coming from the search engines, you’ll miss plenty of opportunities.

You never know when a user becomes interested in one of the products/services that you have to offer, and thus launch an internet search to get to it. But what happens if your website is listed only on the 4th page of Google? Research shows that 80% of the users never get past the first results page, so chances that a user will actually reach your website through that page are actually null.

Solution: It is advisable to use Google Trends for Search to compare various keywords and Google AdWords Keyword Tool to monitor searches for those terms. After you get informed in this way, you can use the right terminology in the titles and subtitles of your articles.

2. Not facilitating the content distribution

Since we live in the age of social media, it is important that your website visitors can easily distribute your content. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have become indispensable for efficient communication with our clients, but they also help with search engine optimization. For once, by regularly posting content and article snippets on your social media accounts you increase your chances of visitors accessing your website.

However, when a user “likes” one of your articles, he instantly shares it with all his friends on the social network. This means an increased exposure for your brand, but also the chance to make more sales. Users are interested in quality and speed, they want everything to be available exactly when they need it, without having to research various sources. In this regard, facile content distribution is essential for a website’s high search engine ranking.

Solution: If you use excessive Rich Media content (Flash, AJAX), its distribution will be almost impossible. Therefore, you need to make sure that:
– Each page on your site has its unique URL. When you copy/paste that URL, you need to load that page, and not just another wizard or filter.
– Do not load content in pop-ups that do not contain a URL
– Integrate social media tools within your website

3. Not telling the search engines what kind of content your website offers

Search engines read HTML text, so if the entire content on your website is in the form of images or Flash, search engines will not know what kind of content your site offers. Also, when the content is in the form of HTML text, it is more accessible to mobile users and those who have poor internet connections. Did you know that websites with lots of eye candy and complex designs tend to rank lower than the ones which focus on quality articles?

This happens because search engines do not see websites in the way we do. They only see the code behind it, the text without any images, animations or add-ons. What this really means is that even if you have the most appealing website on Earth, without enhancing it with quality content, you will not manage to do anything but scratch the surface. Users won’t still be able to find you.

Solution: You need to provide quality and unique articles on your website, ones that were never released before and which can benefit your readers. Also, avoid using lots of eye-candy and if you do have to use images within your articles make sure they’re optimized for the search engines as well (notice the “ALT” tags).

4. Not including a call-to-action

The purpose of a website should be higher than to have a good ranking which attracts plenty of visitors. The purpose of a website should be to turn those visitors into customers. In the absence of a high customer conversion ratio, your business will ultimately become too uncompetitive to run. The Internet is a highly diversified market, where every person makes an effort to bring customers on their side and to get on top.

Solution: If you sell products, include links to those products on your site’s pages. This will greatly boost your SEO ranking. Also, make sure to provide a strong call-to-action at the end which points toward one of the services that you have to offer.

5. Believing that all your visitors are accessing your site’s home page at first

Each page of your website should be as a home page. Often, visitors do not come directly to the home page and then browse your site. Most visitors will conduct a search will be sent to a page on your website, and from there they will sail on other pages. Therefore, each part of your website is important for the user and for your search engine ranking and should be treated with maximum importance.

When users arrive at a search engine page, they will usually arrive at one of the adjacent pages of your website, or more probably on your blog, if you have one. It is highly important for those web pages to be designed well, to capture users’ attention, but even more important is to provide them with something of value. They need to be guided toward the answer they were initially looking for.

Search Engine Ranking
Solution: Make sure that all pages of your website include links to the home page and the page with information about your company, plus additional call-to-action statements where relevant.

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Digital Marketing

The 3 C’s Of Marketing : Marketing 101

Internet marketing is meant to attract people to your website, enhance your products and your company and eventually increase customers for your business. If you want your online marketing strategies to succeed, then you must utilize the 3 C’s of marketing, that is, create, capture and convert. They are fairly simple yet logical ideas that can help any newbies trying to venture into internet marketing to get a head start.

Below is a detailed explanation of what these 3C’s of marketing are.

Create Traffic

The first step that you should take if you hope to make money out of your blog or website, is to create traffic. That"s where the SEO comes into play. It will give your website a better chance of appearing in the search engine results for queries related to your business. You have to capture the attention of your audience in such a way that they will want to visit your website over and over again.

One way that you can create traffic is by creating quality content. The content should be useful to the customer otherwise they will quickly lose interest in what you have to offer. For instance, if you have launched a new product, inform the customer what it is. They want to know more about the product. What is the product all about, how is it useful, how is it different from the others, what do they stand to gain from buying your product and so on. If you are trying to introduce a service, tell the customers what service you offer and how they can get it.

Capture Leads

Once you have created traffic, you have to devise a system whereby you can capture your leads or traffic. This is to enable you to sustain a long-term profitable online business. This is the part where your patience, practice, and experience will be tested. You need to come up with a strategy where you can build your own list. A list is important in that it helps you to keep your customers informed about a new product or opportunity.

You can use an email-auto responder service which allows your customers to sign up to your list so that they could be receiving information from you directly. Again, this comes down to the quality of your content. If your readers like your content, they will want to sign up for your list.

Convert To Sales

If you have managed to create traffic and you have captured leads but you are still not converting them to sales you will not make any money. You have to develop trust and build a relationship with your prospects or leads so that they will want to hear what you have to say, be open to your offers and be willing to purchase what you are selling to them.

There are two ways that you can convert sales. First, you can make money in your sleep by incorporating a system that can convert sales on autopilot or secondary, you can simply become active and convert sales personally.
There you have it, the 3 C’s of marketing. Once you fully understand these three concepts, they will be etched in your subconscious as you go about every day promoting and making money from your online business.

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Digital Marketing

Use Advance Search Queries to Find Hosts for Your Guest Posts

Of late, guest posting has earned a reputation as a reliable SEO technique which not only allows you to direct traffic to your website but also build profitable relationships with customers who enjoy reading your posts. There is a problem though; each and every one of the internet marketers out there now has guest blogging on top of their off-page SEO techniques which makes it very hard to convince authority websites or blogs into giving you a chance to publish content as a guest blogger. If you are just starting out and have probably experienced this problem, it does not mean that you cannot level with your competitors and get frequent chances to publish content on high ranking authority websites. All you need to do is follow the right track.

How to find blogs on which you can publish guest posts using advanced search queries

There are several websites which constantly advertise to people who would like to write content for them to which they allow insertion of links in return. It might seem like an easy thing to do, but if you are not careful, you might as well end up publishing content on the wrong blog or website. For instance, if you deal in electronics and would like to popularize your merchant or affiliate website, it would do you no good if you posted your content on a blog whose audience is interested in construction tools.

So how do you get the right blogs?

A great answer would be using advanced search queries although to some internet marketers, this would just make things complicated. To demystify what advanced search queries are and how they could help you find authority websites on which to publish your content, below are some useful examples of what you should do.

Starting with the basics, you first need to familiarize with some useful strings which will generate meaningful results. Most authority websites use strings such as guest blogger, guest column, guest article, guest blog, become a contributor and write for us to attract traffic from the search engines. It might not be hard to find a blog using the strings outlined above although you would certainly experience problems while trying to pinpoint a website which specializes in your niche. To get what you want, you have to make your search specific by advancing it.

Someone who wants to find a guest post which publishes information on red widgets would have to type in something like red widgets “guest blogger” as a search query. The engine will search for information which is relevant to the keyword red widgets and which also contains the phrase guest blogger. The phrase “guest blogger” in the quotation marks specifies the query to a website which is optimized for the keyword red widgets but also has an occurrence of the phrase guest blogger. You might have realized that such a string would lead you to a website whose niche is red widgets and probably beckons interested parties to publish quality content or information as guest bloggers.

With time you will also realize that you get better results by searching for a category instead of a specified niche. For instance, if you deal in cheap plasma TV’s and would like to find a blog on which to publish your guest post, it would be easier to find a highly ranked website by typing in electronics “guest blogger” instead of cheap plasma TV’s which limits you to just a few options. However, this does not mean that you can publish your post on any website as long as it deals in electronics; it is just an advanced way of finding one in your niche without having to browse through a frustrating list.

Using the tilde (~)

The tilde helps you run an advanced search in which the search engine automatically searches for all synonyms instead of searching for them separately. For instance, the string ~cars “guest blogger” would also search for all other synonyms which include automobile and auto. Apart from helping you save the time you would use to search for each of these terms individually, using the tilde also increases the chances that you will get what you are looking for by only inserting a search query once.
It has always been said that Rome was not built in a day. There should be no hurry and especially if you plan to generate substantial traffic from guest posting. High profile blogs are competitive and might not even advertise or encourage writers to publish information because they have enough already. One of the mistakes most marketers make is going for these websites first even before they have fully familiarized with guest blogging and how it should be handled. As for advice, it is recommended to start with smaller blogs and websites first after which you can graduate to highly ranked websites.

Sometimes, an online marketer might realize that they do not have enough time or the skill needed to generate and publish profitable posts. First, it should be noted that guest posting is a time-intensive technique in that you have to type down content, look for a host and then publish it. If you have other responsibilities, this might inconvenience you and in the end turn out to be a roadblock other than a breakthrough. If you still need the traffic, below are a few options you can take.

If you are capable of finding reliable hosts who can direct substantial traffic to your website, then your only problem should be a content generation. In this case, some marketers opt to hire freelance writers who generate the content to be published. This reduces the time required to publish a post in that the marketer will only have to check if the content coincides with what they need after which to submit the file to a blogs administrator for publishing. Alternatively, one can opt to hire an SEO service provider who covers all tasks from host finding to writing of the actual content. One of the benefits of hiring a guest blogging service is that such companies have a higher probability of getting chances to publish on high profile websites.

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Digital Marketing

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing Strategies

In any market, a good product rarely needs advertising to sell well. People will love any product that does well what its description says it will do. In the online business world, content is the good product that delivers a great return on investment, allowing businesses and individuals to gain publicity and make sales without spending a dime on traditional forms of marketing. The publicity gained also comes with brand loyalty as people interact with the content. Indeed, as of 2013, content marketing has become the biggest technique used by anyone who wants to dominate a particular niche in the online marketplace. Although it all appears merry on the outside, content marketing is not an easy endeavor, and any mistake done at the initial stages may cost you a chance at converting your visitors into customers in future. To aid your plight in understanding content marketing, here is a complete beginner guide.

What is content?

The first thing you need to know is what entails content. As per this guide, content refers to any multimedia or text that you place strategically on the internet to direct or inform people about your business or organization.

The content can be:
– a video
– an audio file
– pictures
– text
– or a combination of all.

Content is the substance that holds your marketing message. It does not matter whether the message is hidden or direct, whether it’s long or brief, as long as it’s contained therein, then you are talking about content.

Where should you place content

The next thing to note is where the places that should hold your content are. Once you have your video, or article, you can place it on your website or on other websites. Placement of content affects the reaction you get from the target audience. If you place content on a popular site, you can expect to get more reactions and views than you would when you place the same content on a relatively unknown website. You also need to have a home that will act as an anchor on all your content online. As you place content on popular sites, link those pieces with your anchor. Anyone who has an interest in your content will then get to your anchor for more.
For best results, your anchor should be your primary website. Have the most relevant content about your niche and products placed on your primary website, and then use other sites as signposts to direct people to your website. You can then place various ‘call-to-action’ messages on your primary website. For example, you can have a YouTube video that provides a link to your website. As people watch that video, they will learn about your website and may visit it for more information or entertainment. Social networks and blogs also act as great places for placing your ‘signpost’ content for people to consume and eventually land on your primary website.

How do you create content?

By now, you have an idea of what content is and are wondering how one comes up with great content. The simple answer is that great content fulfills an appetite for information or entertainment. Your content has to deliver value to the audience, irrespective of where you place it. To create such content, you need to pay attention to what people are looking for, what they keep talking about, and what they think.

Practically, it is impossible to just wake up and decide that a particular subject captures what people are looking for. You need to engage people to know what they want. To do this, you will need to hang out where the people are hanging out online and learn how to use various analytical tools for interpreting web trends.

The tools include:
– Google analytics tool for monitoring and analyzing web traffic, available at http://www.google.com/analytics
– Google Trends web app available at http://www.google.com/trends
– Market Samurai keyword tool available at http://www.marketsamurai.com

Trace the traffic that is getting to your website, and take note of the content that is contributing to that traffic. Notice whether such content has a seasonal demand or is timeless. Create profiles on discussion forums and social networks and then participate in those sites. If you are a firm, you may have different employees handling specific sites, to gather information on what is relevant to your niche. They will also tell what is likely to benefit your target audience. Once you have an idea, create content based on that idea. Remember that the purpose of your content is to help someone in need of that information or entertainment value.

Telling good and bad content

You can tell good content by the attention it gets after you publish it. An informative video will get many views and comments because people find it useful. It may also go viral on social networks as people share it with others. Bad content, on the other hand, tends to stay static. No one shares with others or comments on it. This is not to say that you need to remove bad content from your website or online profiles. You may just have to assign a different purpose to the content. You can use it as link bait, so that is becoming a source of inbound links to your website. This will help your website rank. You can repackage together with your good content to provide fresh content for distribution in easy to consume formats such as eBooks that will refer people back to your primary website.

Tracking results

A big chunk of content marketing involves monitoring and evaluation. For every content piece that you place strategically on guest blogs, article directories, social networks, your primary site, video sharing sites and web directories, you must be able to tell how that content is a contribution to your marketing and SEO goals. Traffic tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends that are available online (see links above) can show you how the particular links on the content are driving people to your websites, as well as give you the sources of those visitors who interact with your content.

Conclusion

As you take up content marketing, you need to know that this form of marketing does not interrupt the user but instead offers them what they are looking for, in return for the permission to include sales pitch within the content. The goal is not to sell a product on the first interaction but to create a positive association with your brand so that it will be the first choice when the targeted person wants to buy.

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