Blogging contests usually involve countless hours of writing about a specific prompt or filling out paperwork that explains what makes your blog unique. While these contests are great and a great way to really get everyone analyzing the blogging industry, it’s nice to find an easier and faster contest during the summer. Fortunately, My Blog Guest granted this wish.
My Blog Guest is holding a summer guest blogging contest where you get free content and a chance to win $1000 cash. In other words, this is one of the easiest contests for blogs because you really don’t need to do anything that you aren’t already doing. The contest works like this:
- Go to the Articles Gallery and make an offer on an article (or several articles).
- If the author accepts, publish the article on your blog.
- Promote the article via social media.
- Post the article URL and the author’s username in this thread.
It’s hard to believe, but this is all you need to do. The contest is really about getting bloggers connected with authors and visa versa to help expand the blogging community. It gives blog owners great visibility from those who love the author, and it gives author the visibility for those who love the blog. In other words, there really are no losers in this contest.
How You Can Win
So maybe there are no losers, but let’s be honest—there is a $1000 prize. Winning the grand prize comes down to three things: The social media sharing activity that is shown through the buttons on your blog, the comments, and if your blog is really helping the author gain exposure.
Being that these are the three things the contest will look for in a winner, it makes sense that the blog owner will need these three things. In other words, your blog must have Twitter and Facebook count buttons installed, the comment option must be available, and your blog must be a Google PR of 2 or higher.
Below are a few tips and tricks to help give you a chance at the grand prize:
- Talk with the author. Many blog authors have a following of people who are interested in his/her writing. This will help bring traffic to your blog and will likely help that Twitter count go up. After all, the author also wants the post to do well, so he/she will be a great asset for you.
- Nominate Multiple Guest Articles. There is no limit to the number of articles that a blog owner can take from the Gallery and publish. The most articles you publish, the better your chances are that one of them will win.
My Blog Guest has been in the business for quite some time, so there is no use trying to cheat by buying social media clicks, changing the publication date, or trying to share your prize in exchange for social clicks. The contest ends August 10, so get started right away!
You can learn more about the contest and rules and regulations here.
Most business owners who have even an elementary understanding of content online know that linking is important. However, what many do not realize is that there are many different kinds of linking, all of which have different benefits and different pitfalls. The two most basic (but important) types of linking to understand is internal and external linking. This then begs the inevitable question: Do they differences really matter when it comes to SEO?
Internal Linking 101
When someone says “internal linking” they simply mean a link that navigates between different webpages of your website. This is a great way to keep people on your site as long as possible and gives you the opportunity to help them learn more about a given topic by looking through your site as opposed to heading somewhere else. It’s hard to get all the information you need in one article, so linking internally is a huge help. Consider some of the other benefits:
- PageRank – Linking internally can help your page rank. This will help you move up to the top of search engine pages, so it can make a big difference when it comes to trying to improve the visibility of your brand. Although this doesn’t hold as much weight in terms of PageRank as someone else linking to your webpages, it doesn’t hurt.
- Navigation – As discussed above, having internal links can help your customers navigate your webpage. Most experts recommend having the page open on the existing page so that people will stay on your site longer, but as a reader I always prefer when an internal link opens a new webpage. You could also consider installing breadcrumbs on your website for even easier navigation.
- Index – Lots of internal links will help search engines classify your site quicker and more accurately. This could help readers find your site easier on search engines because it will help ensure that your site is indexed in the proper places.
The Know-Hows of External Linking
External links take readers from your website to another website. Although this may seem like a terrible idea, it can potentially have many benefits for both your company and your readers:
- Credibility – Chances are your website does not gather its own data and facts. For this reason, you will want to link to websites in order to give them credit for the information you are using. This will help readers see where you get your facts; thus improving your credibility.
- PageRank – Although linking to another site within your article will not help your PageRank, external linking will help if it is done to you. In other words, if another site is linking to your website, your PageRank will improve. Many websites utilize guest posting on other blogs—they offer free articles in exchange for what would be an external link back to their site.
- Traffic – Your traffic will certainly increase if you have reputable sites linking back to your site. Not only will you show up more on a Google search page because of your PageRank, but you will have new sets of eyes looking at your website.
The most important thing to remember about linking is that the links should be relevant. Linking just for the sake of linking will not fools readers, and it will most certainly not fool Google. As long as you can link, both internally and externally, in a natural way, you will find that linking is a small way to make a huge difference.
Photo Credit: thinkgeek.com
It seems like there are so many questions regarding timing when it comes to SEO. You can learn how to do something regarding SEO and you can learn why it matters and where it really matters, but your efforts won’t be nearly as successful if you don’t understand when to make the right move. After all, many aspects of business focus on timing—when to close the sale, when to make a purchase and file your taxes, when to launch a new product, when to discount a product, etc., and the SEO field is no exception. As the cliché saying goes, “timing is everything.”
Unfortunately, many companies do not realize that SEO also has a strategic timetable that helps it succeed. Because SEO is (believe it or not) still a fairly new aspect of business, many company owners complete crucial changes to their SEO campaign out of order.
Top 4 SEO Decisions Where Timing Really Matters
Below are some of the most crucial aspects of SEO that should only happen at certain points in your SEO campaign:
1. Target New Keywords
Most companies target a list of four to seven keywords where they hope to rank. Once your company has done its keyword research and determined which keywords don’t have much competition, it’s time for linking, sharing, linking, promoting, and some more linking. However, it is never a good idea for a company to target the same keywords over and over.
- When to Target New Keywords – Your keywords should change when your content changes. There is no specific amount of time that you should wait before targeting new keywords, but in general it makes sense to target new keywords when you are at a standstill with your current set. If you are not moving up or down in rankings for your keywords, it might be time to change them.
- What Happens If You Don’t – Targeting the same keywords for too long will begin to waste your time. Ranking for a keyword for a long time will be remembered by Google bots and will serve you well. People will continue to click on your article and link back to your website because it has been ranking for so long, so doing this work on your own won’t be as necessary. In other words, you would be missing out on opportunities to make this happen with another keyword.
It is also worth noting that you should, in general, swap out your keywords for your new keyword list. While it is okay to add a few keywords to your list, you shouldn’t think of your new keywords as “extras.” When it’s time to move on, move on and give your new list your full attention.
2. Hire an SEO Agency
Earlier this month SEM-Group wrote an entire post answering this very question, but it is something that still seems to get people nervous. Hiring anyone is a nerve-racking process for a business owner because you want to hire the right person. Hiring an entire SEO agency to help is even more nerve-racking because it is more money, a lot is at stake, and you won’t quite know whether or not the agency is doing well until you’ve been paying them for a few months.
- When to Hire an SEO Agency – The biggest indicator that it is time to hire an SEO agency is when you keep getting hit by Google Panda and Penguin updates and you don’t know why. These updates will kill your rankings if you are unprepared, and you have no choice but to recover if you’ve been hit. If you don’t know how to recover and can’t keep up with all of the changes, an SEO agency is crucial. SEO agencies usually also help manage your social media, so if you are finding that you just don’t have time to connect with others or do anything but your own promotion, it’s the right time to hire.
- What Happens If You Don’t – Your website is sure to drastically drop in search engine rankings if you are unable to keep up with SEO. This will in turn affect your brand’s visibility, and in the majority of cases you will see your sales and overall success decrease.
3. Begin Guest Posting
Guest posting is a great way to earn backlinks to your website. This takes a good amount of time to make happen and often requires a company hire writers who understand SEO, so it’s a big decision. Nonetheless, guest posting is one of the ways that you can ensure that you are receiving the backlinks that you deserve. After all, if you can create great content for another website your website is likely full of great content—people just a need a little push in finding it.
- When to Begin Guest Posting – Guest posting should become part of an SEO strategy once a website is ready. In other words, once your website is easy to navigate and has a good library of content and information, it’s time to start guest posting and building up some backlinks.
- What Happens if You Don’t – Many sites do well when it comes to search engine rankings even without guest posting, but it generally takes longer. Guest posting is one aspect of SEO that you can really control.
4. File a Re-Consideration Request
Many sites find themselves losing rankings after a Google Penguin or Panda update, and many feel that the loss in rankings is unwarranted. If you think that your site was wrongly hit by one of the algorithm changes, you may want to submit a re-consideration request to Google.
- When to File a Request – If you know that you have violated the guidelines or were hit with a spam issue you should always file your requests after you have cleaned up your site. It’s also a good idea to file a request if Google notifies you that something was wrong with your website (your website was hacked, etc.). Finally, if you really feel like nothing is wrong you can file a request.
- What Happens if You Don’t – Your site will continue to drop in rankings until Google bots discover that your site has been cleaned up. If you don’t clean up your site and just assume that nothing is wrong, you will continue to drop in rankings.
The “when’s” in SEO have always been tricky, but doing things in order will help ensure that your SEO is at its best without any wasted time. SEO results take long enough to really see and really benefit from, so understanding the big picture will help save you time and energy.
Is there anything else that you’re unsure about when it comes to timing? Let me know in the comments and I would be happy to help!
Photo Credit: under30ceo.com
If you really believe that content curation is not just a buzzword but a marketing staple, you can also implement this idea in email marketing. Undoubtedly, a well planned email campaign can result in better conversions and generate repeat sales. It’s also an excellent way of collecting useful feedback and suggestions from your visitors or customers. In addition to all of these, email marketing can also do a great job to boost your offline purchases.
Email marketing works best only when it suits the needs of subscribers. But it’s sad to see emails that are nothing more than ‘pure promotion’. You might also have deleted a lot of emails delivered to your inbox simply because they sound like a self-interested bore.
Do we (the email marketers), therefore, need to change?
Of course! The word change points to a change in the mindset, the way we look at our email subscribers, the way we try to convince them to make a buying decision. The current situation of the internet marketing industry makes one thing very clear – ‘The more you sell, the less you sell’.
That’s exactly where the role of a ‘curated email campaign’ steps in. It’s really a powerful way of providing your email subscribers with something they don’t usually expect. It’s an idea to keep them well-informed, educated and entertained so that they start looking at you as a ‘niche expert’. It’s all about winning the trust and gaining the confidence of your email subscribers.
Aweber Communications (a popular email marketing company) published a comprehensive article on this topic on their blog. A curated email campaign creates ‘loyal subscribers’. Let’s find out how you can use this powerful technique to make your email campaigns come alive and keep your subscribers happy.
Start to work like a content curator. That means, you need to look for blog posts, articles, industry reports, case studies, videos and images that you think your email subscribers would love to read. You can find anything that’s relevant to your niche, interesting, entertaining and unique.
Once you’ve gathered all these nuggets, it’s time to piece them together to compile your weekly newsletter. Since subscribers are already pissed off with tons of marketing and promotional emails, a curated email campaign will work like a ‘freshner’. It will provide them with highly valuable content that they can actually use to their benefits. Though it’s an indirect technique of marketing, it works like magic to showcase your niche expertise and set yourself apart from your competitors pretty quickly.
Curated Content Has a ‘Narrow’ Focus
Curated email campaigns will work best for those who cater to a specific niche or type of business. If you serve a broader market or industry, content curation may not bring you the best results. If you focus on a particular aspect of your industry, you can discover all the most useful resources and compose them in the form of an email or weekly newsletter.
Small businesses can get the maximum out of a curated email campaign. In fact, any small business or home-based business or bloggers with a narrow focus can use this email marketing technique.
Whether you’re a small business owner or a blogger, you should start with curated email campaigns right away. Find out blogs that you read regularly to remain inspired. Search for current events that relate to your niche industry. Look for articles and videos that entertained you this week. Give your email subscribers something they weren’t expecting until now. Educate your audience. Keep them entertained. And be ready to see the magic!
Did you try the concept of curated content in your email campaigns yet? Please feel free to talk back in comments.
Now that the excitement about the HootSuite and HubSpot partnership has died down, it’s time to really consider what this will mean for small businesses’ social media efforts. Although it’s too soon to tell whether or not this will be as beneficial as it seems, there is no denying that more and more business owners are expecting to see real leads and real conversions come from social media. Because there are so many social media outlets available, companies are quickly spending money hiring social media experts and social media data analysts to help make sure social efforts are successful (and seeing leads come from social media is much more clear-cut than the types of numbers we see today). According to the HubSpot blog, the average budget spend on social media has increased 133% in just three years.
This of course begs the inevitable questions: Is it possible to increase and gauge leads from social media, and if so, why haven’t we been doing this all along?
How Closed-Loop Social Will Work
For those who are unfamiliar, the partnership involves the all-in-one marketing software HubSpot and one of the most popular social media dashboards HootSuite, and was announced this past Wednesday. According to The Next Web, HubSpot currently claims to work with more than 6,800 companies in 46 countries, which helps them to attract visitors to their websites and convert those visitors to leads and drive growth.
This partnership aims to help marketers not only connect with customers and clients via social media, but actually create real leads and bring these leads through the sales funnel. The new beta app that stems from this partnership is known as “closed-loop social.” Below is a screenshot that the HubSpot blog included to help marketers visualize the coming-soon app:
Why Utilizing Closed-Loop Social Matters
While the partnership seems to be a good one in theory, marketers are more interested in understanding some of the ways to leverage this partnership and really make it work for their company. Below is a list of some of the benefits that HubSpot explained are coming with this partnership announcement:
- Monitor key terms used by your biggest customers and clients on social sites. This will help you potentially find other like-minded potential customers as well as stay involved with your current ones.
- Nurture leads through social media, not just a follow-up email. After all, saying “thank you” via Twitter might be more effective for some (and more and more as time goes on).
- You can setup filters for certain keywords—your company name, keywords in your industry, etc. If someone tweets “I need to buy an office printer” and you sell office printers, closed-loop social will make sure you know how to find this tweet.
Overall, it seems as though this new app is the next step in social. Being able to understand what your customers are doing on social media and then putting them through the sales funnel on a medium that they really understand (and enjoy) is absolutely going to be beneficial. Although it may take some time to master, I suspect that we will see many more social tools and marketing companies working together to perfect this idea through trial and error, and I’m sure many businesses will be following along.
How do you feel about the new HubSpot and HootSuite partnership? Do you think they have a sound idea, or is it all just the latest hype? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credit: business2community.com
In one of my recent posts, I talked about conducting your first A/B test. Split or A/B testing is undoubtedly one of the most effective techniques to improve your website for better performance. Though there are several testing tools (free and paid) that you can use, Google Website Optimizer (GWO) has always done a great job to help you accomplish this task.
Now, you can test the performance of your website right from within Google Analytics. Yes, Google recently announced this feature (called ‘Content Experiments’) on its official analytics blog. It’s one more effort by Google to make Google Analytics the best measurement tool for tracking a site’s performance.
The ‘Content Experiments’ feature helps you create different versions of a web page, track the effectiveness of each version and determine the version that works best for your audience.
The best part is that you can now fulfill your goals of tracking, testing and optimizing your website all in one place i.e. Google Analytics. The advanced statistical engine added to the analytics tool makes it more powerful and more useful than ever. In addition, the website experimentation process becomes easier with ‘Content Experiments’.
Testing with ‘Content Experiments’ is easier because it -
Teaches you how to set up experiments
Helps you launch new tests instantly
Allows you to choose from goals you would like to test
Comes along with easier tagging options
Makes it easy to understand the performance of different versions
Identifies the version that makes the most impact quickly
Sends you regular email updates about the experiment (to be available soon)
At a time, you can test five different versions of a web page using the Content Experiments feature in Google Analytics. If you have set up a couple of goals in your account already, you can come up with different versions of the original page and find out which one brings a higher goal conversion.
How to Set Up an ‘Experiment’
Before you create an experiment in Google Analytics, you need to do your homework. This includes identifying the goals you plan to test, selecting your conversion page and creating the variants of the original page.
Once you’re done with the preparation part, you can follow these steps –
#1. Log in to your analytics account.
#2. Go to the profile you want to create experiment in.
#3. Move to the ‘content’ section and click ‘Experiments’.
#4. Now, click ‘Start Experimenting’.
#5. Give a name to your experiment and select the versions.
#6. Choose experiment options (select goals or add new goals).
#7. Add the experiment code to the original version.
#8. Get the experiment code verified.
#9. Preview the pages and click ‘Run Experiment Now’.
After you’ve set up a new experiment, you can also save the settings for using it later. Since every experiment has a specific name given by you, you can click the name and do what you want. Content Experiments also provides you with easy modification options, if you haven’t run the test yet.
So, is it time to say goodbye to GWO?
Actually, yes! After August 1, 2012, you won’t be able to use GWO (a standalone tool) anymore. Google has already started to implement its functionalities into Google Analytics’ Content Experiments. Therefore, you should now start setting up website experiments from Google Analytics to improve the performance of your websites. You can get started with Content Experiments (if it’s already available in your account) right away by logging into your analytics account and click ‘experiments’ within the content section of your regular diagnosis reports.
Is ‘Content Experiments’ available in your Google Analytics Account? Please feel free to ask any questions or share your own opinions regarding the same.
Yes, a press release can be tough to write. They can also be denied even after you put in all that hard work. It is because of this that many home based businesses don’t even bother writing a press release, even though a press release would benefit their business beyond belief.
There is a lot to know about writing a press release and that is why I want to show you a few tricks on how to write a press release for guaranteed success. Below you will see a very short yet powerful list of tricks that will get your press release read and distributed to hundreds of news sites.
Something that is important to keep in mind is that a press release is not a sales page that will teach you how to make more sales, nor is it a self promotion of your home based business. A press release needs to be newsworthy. So, stick to solving a problem and you will get better results time and time again.
Optimize Press release For Search Engines
It is imperative to optimize your blog for relevant success or else the search engines won’t help you. Press releases are great for many reasons and one of the biggest ones is that they will get picked up by news writers and published on news sites. Now, if you didn’t optimize your press release for search engines with a mix of high traffic keywords and long tail keywords, then you will be missing out on a ton of quality and FREE traffic.
Solve A Massive Problem
Whether you are catering to the ”Home based business for moms” category or the ”Future self-employed” doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you are solving a problem. By solving a problem and putting yourself second your press release will get picked up by more news sites, which is much better than trying to sell through a press release and limiting your exposure.
Link To Your Website As A Source
Yes, this is something you probably already know, however, did you know that a link to a source is more reputable than just a link to the creator of the press release? I say this because as a source you will be seen in a different light. Think about it, what would you rather click on – a link from the source or a link to a somewhat relevant page?
In order to get the most out of a press release it is recommended that you do more than just write it and submit it. What do I mean by this – Think about using social media to promote your press release.
How To Use Social Media To Promote A Press Release
Blast Your Twitter Followers
We all know how powerful Twitter is, so why not use it to promote your press release? Just because you are releasing something to the press doesn’t mean your job is done. You should blast your Twitter followers with at least 5 Tweets during the first 3 days your press release is live. The benefit of doing this is that other’s will see it and the chances of them retweeting it will be much higher.
Get Friends To Share On Facebook
Having your friends or fans share the link to your press release is a great way to get noticed. This strategy has worked for many people in the past, so why not do it yourself. The trick to getting your friends and fans to share a press release on Facebook is to make sure it caters to their needs.
Lastly, pinterest is the third largest social media site after it recently passed LinkedIn. It is because of this that you should create a eye catching image and pin it on Pinterest. It may not get picked up right away, but it doesn’t hurt to get more links out there to your recent release.
By promoting your press release on these three social media sites you won’t just get the average news sites picking it up, you will get all the little guys as well. It is recommended that you look to be everywhere in regards to your press release because some bigger news sites use the smaller news sites as a gauge of what is hot and what isn’t.
Well, there you have it. If you want to explode your home based business, then a press release is one of the best ways to do it.
Whether it has affected you or not, a headline reading “LinkedIn Hacked: 6.5 Million Passwords Leaked to the Web” gets people thinking. Social media security has always been a constant discussion since the networks began to grow in popularity, yet as with many things security, businesses are still staying basic when it comes to protecting their accounts. While changing your password is a great idea and trying to monitor who you are connecting with might help deter a hacker, a business should be taking more serious precautions. Hackers can hurt not only your social media presence, but actually hurt your SEO if they can figure out a way into your website. This naturally brings us back to that very familiar question: What can I do to keep my accounts secure?
Tips and Tricks to Avoid a Social Media Breach
It first helps to understand a little bit about security. There are many different types of security software out there to help a business stay secure, but there aren’t many that focus specifically on social media. After all, security for other aspects of a business—finances, important records and documents, etc.—is often a bigger concern to businesses. However, security software and precautions will generally cover everything online. In other words, if you were to implement security precautions to help protect your financial information, your social media and SEO efforts will likely be protected as well.
Below are a few basic things you can do to help make sure your passwords and accounts are secure across the board:
- Bitdefender Antivirus Software – It is extremely important that you have some sort of software in place to help with your online security. I have used Bitdefender both with my company as well as for personal use in the past and highly recommend this software because it is affordable and works well with all types of computers. It was rated the #1 antivirus software of 2012 by Top Ten Reviews and is something that will help keep your entire computer protected, including your social media and SEO passwords.
- Get Patched – Making sure your computer is patched, or making sure that you have the latest software updates, will help eliminate your risk of hackers. The reason that you always need to keep your system updated is because hackers can often figure a way around certain software, so new software has to be implemented.
- Password Manager – Setting up a browser password manager will help your company create passwords that are more difficult to crack and help you remember these passwords. Although there are many different types of password management tools, I find KeePass to be one of the easiest to use and one of the most successful (and it’s free!). You can learn more about KeePass here.
There are also new software and new tactics that have emerged specifically for SEO and social media. It is important that businesses take precautions not only from hackers, but also from potential employee abuse. Below are a few different tools you can use and approaches you can take when it comes to SEO and social media specifically:
- Hootsuite Security – The social media dashboard Hootsuite has put a lot of effort into social media security. You can setup secure profiles so that you have to approve everything that gets posted onto any of your accounts, and setting up limited permissions makes certain that employees can only create drafts of all your social media messages. Finally, this tool allows you to turn on HTTPS, which will encrypt your information so that hackers cannot see your information if they try to break into your accounts.
- Avoid Add-Ons – People are usually pretty careful when it comes to downloading something onto a computer, but for some reason people are usually not as careful when it comes to social media. It’s easy to download an add-on or click “ok” when asked if the add-on can have access to your account. This is one of the easiest ways for a malicious program to get into your account and take your password and personal information.
Security will unfortunately always be an issue when it comes to online marketing, so it’s good to continually go back and check what security measures your company has in place. Security is something that needs to constantly be updated (as annoying as it may be), and keeping up makes this easier. After all, if a hacker can get into a site as large and protected as LinkedIn, there is a good chance your site could be next.
What do you do to help make sure your social media accounts and SEO efforts are protected? Do you use any tools that you find helpful? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credit: defensemedianetwork.com
Things are changing pretty fast now. Google continues to make one move after another – launch of Google Plus, quicker algorithmic updates, roll out of Panda and Penguin. You can stay tuned as more exciting pieces of news come your way. However, here’s one that should attract the eyeballs of all local business owners. Yes, Google’s newest move is the launch of Google+ Local.
If you thought Google+ (the search giant’s social network) won’t stick, you need to think again. Though Google Places is not closed completely yet, millions of these pages have been converted into Google+ local pages. According to Google, this step is taken to improve how people discover and share local business information within Google+. Google, therefore, makes this effort to help local businesses leverage the potential of the Google Plus community.
Now, isn’t that a sensational change?
What one can really wonder is how this dramatic transition of Google Places pages to Google+ is going to impact business owners who have products or services to sell locally.
As Google Places pages are replaced with Google+ Local pages, Google Plus now features a new local listing tab (towards the left of your Google+ page) for businesses. That means your local business pages will become more socialized with the launch of Google+ Local.
Here’s how it happens –
Connect your local business with millions of Google+ users
Let people find your business via Google search, maps, mobile and Google+
Make it easy for customers to recommend your business
Now, users can use different ways to find a local business. The recent transition of Google Places pages to Google+ Local widely increases the visibility of your company information by making Google Plus a new search destination with all its highly user-friendly features and functionalities. Imagine what happens when all the social features of Google+ are implemented into your business pages. This will certainly add new life to your business by making it more interactive for both existing and prospective customers.
Definitely, the benefits that you have now as a local business owner far outweigh those that Google.com provides at the SERP level.
One of the best things about this roll out by Google is that it changes the way reviews were done until now. Since all the reviews will now be linked back to the reviewer’s Google+ page, there will be no anonymity. And it will highly discourage those that intentionally leave fake negative reviews on company’s business pages. Additionally, it will create a tough situation for companies that indulge in leaving bogus or non-legitimate reviews on their pages.
In the midst of all these changes taking place, business owners also need to pay careful attention to how it changes the local SEO requirements. You should be informed that all the Google+ Local pages will be indexed. Whether it’s about creating more Google+ votes and social signals or optimizing your local pages for increased visibility in Google search results, this transition also creates more opportunities for doing SEO.
What to Do Next!
Now that Google Places pages are moved to Google+, local businesses that aren’t yet familiar with how this social network works need to increase their knowledge and learn more about the same. Eventually, all the social functionalities of Google+ (i.e. hangouts, sharing, voting, and circles) will be added to your local business pages. That’s why it’s really vital that you become well-versed with all that Google+ has to offer.
How do you see this transition? Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.
Many startup companies put SEO last on the list because you can “fake it.” A business absolutely has to have a finance department and an IT department because these are such specialized fields, and many see paid search as beneficial because you can see the results of your campaign immediately, but many assume that SEO can be figured out by anyone. It’s a long process and it takes a while to see results, so that can just be put on the back burner for a little while, right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to discover that SEO is not easy to figure out and SEO does need to be part of the initial strategy for a startup company. However, many small startup companies can get away with implementing SEO strategies without enlisting the help of SEO marketing services. This then begs the question: How do you know when it’s time to hire an SEO marketing service?
Top 5 Clues You Need SEO Marketing Services
For those who are unfamiliar, SEO marketing services can come in two forms: In-house or agency SEO services. No matter which route you decide to take, an SEO marketing service is in charge of your organic search rankings. Below lists a few clues that tell you when it’s time to stop attempting SEO on your own and begin searching for SEO marketing services:
1. If you’re so overwhelmed with social media that you are only sharing your own content.
Social networking is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of SEO and user experience. In fact, Google+ is now beginning to integrate social and SERP rankings. This makes growing your social media communities extremely important although it can be time consuming. You must try and build a community of strong followers and industry leaders on at least LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. With the new Facebook Timeline layout and the new social media analytics tools, social media is becoming more and more overwhelming. If you are finding that your company cannot manage building these different communities and sharing others content, it’s time to get help.
2. If you find that you can’t understand the Google Panda/Penguin algorithm changes.
Seeing that your rankings are dropping is one thing, but understand why they have dropped is quite another. Google is constantly changing their algorithms that determine where a site will rank on a SERP, so it’s important that your company is able to keep up with all of these updates and really understand what they mean. If you’re finding this is too much to handle or you don’t understand the terminology, you have your second clue.
3. If you’re still ignoring your competition and keyword research.
Those who don’t have a lot of experience in SEO generally just plug in a few keywords here and there and try and track the results. While this is a good strategy, it is only a fraction of the things needed to create a successful SEO campaign. It’s important that your company understands how to complete keyword research for SEO and look at the competition to determine where improvements can be made.
4. If you’re getting hit with Google penalties and you can’t understand why.
This is one aspect of SEO that a small business can probably figure out on its own, but it would likely be time consuming. SEO marketing services, whether an agency or an expert, can usually tell right away what needs to be changed on a site—Meta descriptions, content being copied, authorship tags, etc. Google penalties need to be tended to right away to ensure that you don’t get banned from the search engine, so if you realistically don’t think that you have time to figure out why you’ve been penalized, an SEO marketing service is probably a good idea.
5. If your website is designed for aesthetics and not user experience.
Many websites begin by trying to look nice. Although this is a big plus, this isn’t always best for SEO and user experience. You want your site to be easy to navigate for users as well as search engine bots. If you’re unsure how navigation changes between the two or if you created your website without any consideration for either type of navigation, you’re likely due for a redesign. An SEO marketing service can help.
Usually an SEO marketing service can come into your company and tell you quickly what needs to be changed and what needs to be added to your current strategy. The practice of SEO is now a full-time job, and as businesses get larger it doesn’t make sense to continually assume you’re doing SEO correctly and effectively. If any of these clues are popping up in your business, it’s a good idea to at least get a consultation by an SEO marketing firm.
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