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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Best Practices

Skills for Successful Internet Entrepreneurship

There is no doubt that more and more entrepreneurs are scaling the Internet for opportunities that will make them rich in the shortest amount of time possible. Getting rich quick is one of the most prevalent misconceptions that business owners and developers had in mind when thinking about online entrepreneurship. It could because of the minimum requirement in terms of start-up capital or less demand on technical expertise or low-cost operation. Often, the essence of finding fulfillment in their chosen business industry or the market has to take a backseat for the idea of building ROIs in a lightning-fast manner. Little these entrepreneurs know that when it comes to a long lasting business, there is more to success and fulfillment than just counting returns on investment. If your aim is to do business online is focused solely on getting rich quick, be prepared to fail.

Understanding Online Entrepreneurship

Starting your own business is a good vision nowadays. What better way to do it, cost-efficient wise, than to pursue online means. The Internet is a good melting pot for businesses to thrive as it requires not that much start-up requirement to build your investments. There are a lot of strategies that you can employ such as SEO to make your business popular. However, it is also a highly volatile environment where a single move can put you at the bottom of a cutthroat competition. With a hodge-podge of rapidly changing platforms and ever-changing temperament of markets, even the most sincere of all entrepreneurs can easily get lost in its complexities. This is even more so for those who have no idea on the principles behind online success.

To gain competitive advantage long before you start, it is imperative that you learn to research the Internet by digging deeper into what other businesses are offering, what consumers need, and what you can do about it. Finding a niche where you can be unique yet effective will help steer you in the right direction. Read guidebooks like Scott Fox’s “Click Millionaires” to give you an idea on how to build your online dreams without sacrificing self-fulfillment. His book will give you an “insider look” on how dot.com (or click) millionaires perceive online business success emphasizing on the need to assess your own intentions vis-a-vis your goals and objectives.

No matter how easy it may seem, starting an online business is one challenging endeavor. Dynamic as it is, online entrepreneurship requires adeptness and understanding on important implications contributing to its success. Here, I have adapted Scott Fox’s business success concept that often goes unnoticed or overlooked by aspiring entrepreneurs who leap into opportunities without looking ahead.

The Seven Principles of Successful People

  • Niche-Building

Go out there and explore the current needs of the market. Look for loopholes in current situations like weight loss and anti-aging, or certain gaps in popular product lines. Do not just focus on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Go beyond a singular “high risk” platform to obtain more chances of succeeding.

  • Foster Authorship

Be the expert that everyone wanted. You can do so by building a professional website showcasing your “expertise.” Build on trust and confidence. In the online world of business, trustworthiness and reliability go beyond any formal certification or degree.

  • Automate

Make use of new technologies. People look for convenience when shopping for products or goods online as well as in gathering solutions to their issues. There is a vast supply of online tools that you can use to aid in this need. Website forums, automated order, and delivery protocols secured yet user-friendly payment system, and other customized solution will help generate revenue for your business 24/7 year-round.

  • Outsource

Outsourcing is one key element in a cost-efficient online business. Tap virtual assistants online. Sites like iWriter or UpWork are great sources of staff with specialized skills in accounting, database management, web hosting, article writing, and so on. Try to delegate ministerial functions while you concentrate on core competencies of your business.

  • Connect and Link

Reach out and foster a connection with your online audience. Hear out their sentiments in building a much credible content for your website. Products reviews, blog comments, discussion boards, testimonials and case studies are great sources of information for you to bank on.

  • Scalability

Adapt successfully to increasing demands. Finding a lucrative niche, build your authorship around it and infuse this with a proactive system via automation. Make use of customer feedback to create successful promotion tactics and achieve sure success.

  • Finding Sustainable Means

Look for a sustainable way to earn money. Do not rely on a single productivity scheme. Look for ways that will generate recurring revenues to your business. Make use of renewable subscriptions and other sustainable point-of-sales. Develop a stable and enduring customer base via sustainable efforts like newsletters, advice or support.

These aspects may look simple and easy, but be reminded that there is nothing straightforward about online entrepreneurship. Make your quest for success in the online world a way of life. Learn to handle complexities and solve problems without leaving out the fun side of it. Find a balance doing what you love and making money, all at the same time. The Internet has continually accumulated quite a number of online millionaires and billionaires – and you can be next.

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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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