Browsing articles in "internet marketing"

7 Great Ways to Market Your Mobile Website

Oct 23, 2013   //   by James Harding   //   internet marketing, SEO, SEO Blog  //  No Comments

The year 2013 has seen a real surge in mobile technology in areas like SEO trends. As a matter of fact, mobile technology is overtaking everyone’s expectations, and that is a pattern that is definitely going to continue. As consumers integrate phones and tablets ever more into their internet use, it becomes all the more important to cater to those needs.

mobile

A great example of this happened just last night. Sitting at a venue waiting for the beginning of a concert, there were screens advertising other shows happening in the coming months. Someone behind me expressed interest in a concert happening a couple of weeks from now. I could hear them behind me, using their smartphone to access a local ticket seller.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t get the site to work properly. “Why don’t they have an app?” he muttered, as he tried to get through the captcha that was creating a compatibility issue with his device. He would have had a much easier time had he known that another ticket retailer had a mo bile website and mobile app to make it easier to make purchases on the go. I had used it to for the very show I was waiting to begin.

If you are reading this, I have to assume you have a mobile site already. That is great, but it means nothing if people don’t know about its existence or have a positive experience using it. Marketing that mobile site is a crucial element to the whole process. Otherwise, like my fellow live music lover last night, your target audience won’t be bringing in the profits that they should be.

mobile2

Don’t panic. Marketing a mobile site is similar in most ways to marketing any other. You are just targeting a slightly different user base. Here are seven great ways to market your mobile website.

  1. Use a Good Platform For The Site. Not all mobile services are created equal, and when you are using a bad platform for your mobile site you are asking for trouble. You want a service that is customizable, upgradable, easy to use and has all of the tools and features that you need. Luckily, there are a lot of good ones out there to choose from. One example is Mobi Manage, which actually breaks things down into specialty categories like auto, retail, associations, real estate and more. They also offer marketing packages, so you can control your campaign and aim it at a mobile audience from your dashboard. For something more basic and cheaper (though less feature heavy) you can try MobiSiteGalore.
  1. Use SMS. Have you seen those little notices on business sites offering people the chance to get special offers through text messages? This is a fantastic approach, and an affordable way to market directly to the mobile crowd. You can either put it somewhere on your site itself as a subscription service, or offer it as a selection when someone makes a purchase or creates an account. But you have to give people an incentive to accept this marketing form, such as special offers by text only.
  1. Make An App. Having a mobile website is a great idea. But many smartphone and tablet users would prefer to have an app where they can directly engage with you, your content, and your products. You may find this a better goal for your particular brand, as consumers love making in-app purchases, or being able to quickly navigate a site in such a simple way.
  1. Launch a Mobile Ad Campaign. Unlike traditional ad campaigns, these are made specifically for mobile users and screens. Often attached to ads or mobile site pages, it is a cost efficient way to improving your visibility on the mobile market. You can buy a cost-per-click program that is similar to others you might use for online advertising. But it is usually better to buy a bundled package of 1,000 clicks.
  1. Enhance Your Bidding. Mobile users don’t do that much searching. It makes up a tiny sliver of the amount of time they are going to spend on the web through their smartphones. You have to make the most out of every second, which means using enhanced bidding features to narrow down data. One of the best articles I have seen written on this topic was by Jeremy Hull on Clickz.
  1. Make Your Mobile Site User Friendly. It isn’t enough to have an adaptive or secondary mobile site that offers the same content. Users want something that is easy to navigate, offers them the features they need from a mobile perspective, and is less content heavy. Remember to only include the most crucial elements of a website on the mobile version. Offer plenty of easily accessible links to other related pages. Streamline the process of making purchases as much as possible.
  1. Use Your Mobile Site. One of the most important parts of marketing is making sure what you market is high quality. Use your mobile site yourself, and often. Be honest about how good it is, what features it has, what can be added and taken away. Use other mobile sites to see how they have handled certain parts of their design.

It is important to have a mobile website these days. Just make sure people know it is there, and that their experience using it is a positive one. If you manage those two things, you will be in good shape.

James Harding

James Harding considers himself a perennial student, who is always open to learning anything new he can about SEO. He has expertise in many aspects of SEO and has ghost-written a number of articles on its various aspects. He feels social media marketing and blogging are the future.

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The Basics of Behavioral Targeting for Website Optimization

Mar 28, 2013   //   by Ruben   //   internet marketing  //  2 Comments

Ever been in situation where you shopped online and were presented with an item of something you need? You’re first inclination might be to drop it in your cart since you’ll be using it along with the rest of your items. These affords you the convenience of not having to dig through a massive site to find it on your own, while the retailer picks up a sale they might not have made otherwise.

This situation is the result of behavioral targeting and is frequently used by businesses you want to optimize their website for the customer.

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(Courtesy of Flickr User: StockMonkeys.com)

The Definition of Behavioral Targeting

What is behavioral targeting exactly? It’s a set of techniques that are utilized by advertising networks, online publishers, and content providers to display relevant and targeted information to their site visitors.

When a user first visits a website that uses behavioral targeting technologies, information such as the pages they visit, the time they spend on each page, and the links they click on are recorded. Also of note are the user’s interactions with others online and how they respond to content. Based on this data, a user profile is then generated.

 

Behavioral Targeting in Action

 

Behavioral targeting is most commonly used on eCommerce websites and online retailers for product recommendations. Blogs also employ this optimization strategy in the form of recommended articles that will interest the viewer into exploring the website further.

For example, after reading articles about “how to chose the right job prospect,” more articles that containing recruiting advice will be displayed to the user on his or her succeeding visits.

 

Behavioral Targeting and Improving Conversions

 

Behavioral targeting increases conversions by giving your site visitors more of what they want to see or read about. Blogs, news sites, and online stores have layouts where areas are reserved for dynamic content. This space is where highly targeted content is displayed—be it product suggestions, a list of article recommendations, or a relevant ad.

 

Onsite Behavioral Targeting

 

There are two ways that behavioral targeting can be applied: onsite behavioral targeting and network behavioral targeting. eCommerce sites and online retailers commonly use onsite network targeting. If your goal is to increase site conversions or enhance the user experience, this technique is also beneficial. The first phase of the process involves the creation of generalized user profiles from information that has been pulled from the site’s visitors. Each profile will have a set of preferences and specifications associated with it. Once users arrive at the site they will be placed into one of the profiles and have targeted content displayed for the duration of their site visit.

The technique can also be applied the other way around with the use of self-learning behavioral targeting engines, which provide relevant content in real time as the user browses through the site.
Network Behavioral Targeting

The second type of behavioral targeting is network behavioral targeting. This type is often employed by those who deal with larger groups of people, such as ad servers. Because of the massive size of their user base, they are able to generate an approximate demographic makeup for the users on the sites in their network. Only ads that are relevant to the site’s audience will be displayed once the makeup is determined.

oth network and onsite behavioral targeting are often used simultaneously to optimize both the site content and the ads that are being served.

Finally, it’s important to mention that everyone may think that high traffic means that you’ll have the income coming in, but it goes without saying that these tools at your disposal are highly critical. The final step to any form of internet marketing should always be testing. What may work right may not work anywhere between 3-6 months. So it’s always important to keep an eye out for the amount of traffic coming, whether your websites are ranking and most importantly, whether your traffic is even converting to sales. So never forget, testing is not only crucial, but also an ongoing process that should never end. You can learn more about these tools like behavioral targeting at Maxymiser.com

 

 

Ruben

This is a guest post by Ruben Corbo. He is a freelancer writer specialized in different topics including technology, online marketing with an AB Testing guide and Product Recommendation Engines, music, art, and motivation. When Ruben is not writing he is producing and composing music for short films and other forms of visual arts.

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Top 5 Marketing Conferences in 2013 You Won’t Want to Miss

Jan 4, 2013   //   by Sarah Brooks   //   internet marketing, SEO Blog  //  26 Comments

Top 5 Marketing Conferences in 2013 You Wont Want to Miss - SEM Group Pic 1Whether you run a business, work in marketing, or just want to gain knowledge about business and marketing in general, attending a marketing conference should be on your top list of things to do in 2013. Marketing conferences allow you to gain comprehensive knowledge about growing your business and staying current with trends related to marketing.

With the end of 2012 approaching, now is the appropriate time to see which conferences will best suit your needs so you can start booking those trips and preparing for the year to come. You owe it to yourself and your business to attend a marketing conference next year.

Here is a list of five top marketing conferences you won’t want to miss in 2013:

The Content Marketing Strategies Conference – Berkeley, CA – May 8-9, 2013

If you’re a small business owner, this is the conference for you. Hosted by dlvr.it, this event specifically helps small businesses gain understanding on the role content marketing has in demand generation, sales, and SEO. You’ll be guaranteed to leave the conference with an action plan to jumpstart your content marketing in 2013.

Guest speakers include the following companies: SAS, Cisco, Intel, ServiceMax, Kelly Services, and more. They will share their experience with content marketing – including strategies, successes, and failures. This event was sold out last year, so get your tickets early, as this will change the way you market in the future.

iStrategy 2013 – Miami, FL – April 23-24, 2013

No matter what your business specializes in, iStrategy is where it’s at. It’s a conference all about transforming your digital strategy to meet the needs of today’s online demands – SEO, SEM, social, mobile, community, and commerce. The future of digital marketing will be discussed by the country’s most prestige digital marketers, online experts, and social media gurus. Takeaways from iStrategy will include improved customer engagement, developed marketing campaigns with authenticity and significance, and a high-performing, integrated marketing system that will forever change your organization. The conference also includes networking opportunities, guest speakers, and workshops.

Hawaii International Conference on Business – Honolulu, HI – May 23-26, 2013

This is Hawaii’s 13th Annual International Conference on Business, and it keeps getting better and better. Held on the island of Oahu at Waikiki Beach Marriot Resort and Spa, this will be the gathering place for academicians and business professionals from all over the world. The main focus of this conference is to learn from each other.

Last year, over 200 participants attended representing more than 27 countries. You’ll meet and interact with those both inside and outside your own area of expertise, and gain insight as to what others are doing all across the world.

Pivot Conference: From Social Brands to Social Media – New York City, NY – October 15-16, 2013

Pivot Conference is much more than your average social media conference. It’s a conference where not only do the speakers influence the audience, but the audience influences the speakers. You’ll learn from and with each other. At Pivot 2013, you’ll learn how to influence choices and become a trusted resource, what constitutes a successful organization, meet the leaders of brand initiatives at the leading edge of Social Business, and interact with celebrities, geniuses, and billionaires.

Note: Pivot is an invitation-only conference for senior executives. If this describes you, request an invite on Pivot 2013’s website.

SMX West – San Jose, CA – March 11-13, 2013

This is an all-encompassing conference for everyone – whether you own a business, work for a Fortune 500 company, are an experienced internet marketer, or are just diving into the world of internet marketing. As an attendee, you choose which conferences and seminars you want to attend. There are more than 50 sessions on search engine optimization, paid search advertising, social media marketing, local and mobile search, and landing page conversions. Since you can’t attend more than one conference at a time, they’re all uploaded so you can review ones you attended and see ones you missed out on.

Purchase the All Access pass to get all of the conference sessions, keynotes, access to the tradeshow floor, in-person networking activities, online networking activities, parties, and more. If you still want more after the conference is over, attend an in-depth workshop on March 14th on search and internet marketing topics to learn even more. SMX West is so compelling you’ll leave wanting to implement the strategies before you’ve even arrived back home.

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer covering a wide variety of topics from personal finance and marketing to traveling and the best Hawaii hotels you can stay in during the Hawaii International Conference on Business.

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How to Get Your Website Crawled by Google Fast and Frequently

Dec 21, 2012   //   by Emma-Julie Fox   //   internet marketing, SEO Blog  //  20 Comments

SEO is all about increasing website visibility by making it rank high in search engines. Companies will always strive to make their websites appear at the first page of the SERPs for searches on related keywords. In order for that to happen, their sites have to be crawled by Google bots in the first place.

It is important to note that in order to rank, all the other pages of your website should be equally competitive in the search engines, not just your homepage. Besides, internal pages are the ones that usually make it on the SERPs (except for exact keyword searches that are directly related to a website; i.e. name of the website’s company).

If you want your website to be indexed, you have to catch the attention of the bots first.

Update Your Website Frequently

Simple updates of the content on you site can already alert the bots to pay attention to your site. Long dormant websites are usually left alone because there’s nothing new to find there anyway. Simply breaking the stagnancy signals new activity and alerts the bots that there are possibly new pages to crawl.

Updating your website alone will not guarantee that your pages will be crawled quickly, nor will it guarantee that the bots will be constantly coming back to crawl new pages in your site, but it’s a good start. To keep that ball rolling, proceed with a number of SEO activities at the same time. You can get your pages crawled faster and more frequently afterwards if you follow through the rest of this list.

Generate Content

Posting new content regularly is one of the simplest ways to make sure that search engines take notice and crawl your web pages. This is why sites like Ezine Articles, Digg, Reddit and other bookmarking and article publishing sites commonly end up on the first search engine results pages. The crawling rate in those pages is both fast and frequent because they are always monitored by Google bots for new content to index.

Not all websites are capable of posting new content regularly though, as their very nature does not permit it. A company website for instance doesn’t need constant revision of their content. After all, the mission and vision of a company will not change regularly, and the company history will still be the same. Writers will be bored out of their minds if they have to keep on revising that content.

So in order for their crawl rate to pick up, these websites can create a blog page or news roll for their website. These pages will require frequent and regular posting of new content.

Check Meta Robots Tags, Page Load Speed, 404s, Crawl Speed.

Sometimes the bigger problem is not exactly your infrequent updates and content postings, but that for some reason the bots cannot access your web pages. There are so many new, attractive features that people want to incorporate in their own websites. JavaScript, for instance, are commonly ignored by the Google bots. Websites created from Flash technology and content contained in pop-up and independent Frames also cannot be crawled by Google. Keeping things attractive yet simple is one way to be sure the pages in your website can be indexed.

Don’t forget to use robots.txt to guide the bots which pages to crawl and not to crawl. Create a sitemap and make sure the headers and meta titles of your pages are done correctly. You can even initiate a crawl yourself by submitting your URL to Google.

Also, check if the loading speed of your pages is too long. Spiders have very limited attention spans and would ignore pages that take too long to load. 404 errors are also roadblocks for getting your pages crawled by Google bots.

Gather Valuable Links

Getting inbound links into your web pages is another way to get crawlers into your site—provided that the other website you are linking with is frequently crawled by Google as well. The links become virtual bridges that bots can travel through.  If you’re just linking with another fledgling site that’s not doing so well with the crawlers, then none of you is really helping the other.

This is actually an excellent reason and motivation for SEOs to work on getting high quality links from bigger, more successful websites. Link juice isn’t the only thing they can give you, but also the chance to get your pages crawled by Google.

Similarly, if you’re going to do blog commenting and put a link back to your website, make sure that the sites you’re leaving comments on are not spammed with junk comments.

Use Sharing Buttons

Advantages Of Social Sharing

Share Your Content For Better SEO Results!

 

Making your website go social is an excellent way to invite traffic and, more importantly, gather valuable links. This doesn’t always mean having accounts in all major social media websites. Sometimes merely adding sharing buttons in your page is enough to get your content and links circulating in social media networks.

You can go to AddThis.com and ShareThis.com to get sharing buttons for free. If you are using a blogging platform like Blogger and WordPress, they already provide the widgets for social media sharing. If you go to AddThis and ShareThis though, you can choose the style of buttons to put in your website.

Use Bookmarking Sites

Submitting links of your pages to bookmarking sites will not just help bring traffic to your site, it will also help the bots find, crawl, and index them. Your links will come out as new content for these bookmarking sites. Since they are constantly generating content (which means Google bots are constantly keeping their eyes on them), your page will almost immediately be crawled. The effect on the rest of your website is similar to having valuable links on your web pages.

Bookmarking sites also increases your social activity, which is another way to garner links from other—hopefully valuable and high-ranking—sites. Here are some of the top bookmarking sites you can use today:

  • Reddit
  • Digg
  • Pinterest
  • Stumbleupon
  • Multiply
  • Tumblr
  • Buzzfeed
  • Tweetmeme
  • Delicious
  • Fark

Importance of Speed and Frequency 

Take note that we’re targeting not just a one-time crawl, but frequent visits from the Google bots. These steps will help make your website become one of the search engine’s priorities and be in its radar for constant monitoring. You want Google to index your pages as soon as they go live. These points are important because all your SEO efforts will go unnoticed if your pages are not indexed in the first place.

Emma-Julie Fox

Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media, a Vancouver based SEO company. Pitstop Media has been helping businesses across North America successfully increase their search visibility. If you want to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com

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4 Simple Mistakes to Avoid in Email Newsletters and Marketing

Dec 20, 2012   //   by Brian Taylor   //   guest blogging, internet marketing, SEO Blog  //  3 Comments

Modern technologies have made email newsletters a vital part of every organization’s marketing plan. Email marketing is not a new approach but it still is plausibly the top channel for online sales due to its low cost, high return on investment and easy implementation.

Effective email marketing can help you to drive and maintain your customer engagement, foster market research and track metrics for optimization. However, you should be very careful when you make your first step in email marketing. Even minor negligence can result in your email newsletter getting filtered as spam or junk mail. Sometimes the best way to learn what is right is to consider what not to do. In that spirit, we shall now discuss the 4 simple mistakes that occur in email newsletters and marketing and the ways to avoid them.

Email Marketing

  • Not prioritizing email list building: Building an email list in a proper way should be your first priority. Nowadays people are barraged with opt-in forms and therefore they hesitate to give their email addresses to others. You have to be proactive while building your email list. You can use drop boxes or sign-up sheets in retail outlets to sign up for emails, gather names at trade shows, conferences and meetings or run a contest for prizes/giveaways.

  • Not segmenting your lists: If you want to create the right impact through your email newsletters, you have to segment your email lists properly. Only through proper segmentation of your email lists, you can ensure that the message that your subscribers read is relevant to their needs and their concerns. Make sure that you deliver timely and relevant email newsletters to your users based on their purchase history data or data provided by them. One last tip for enhancing relevancy in your email newsletter marketing is to segment your subscribers demographically. Sending triggered email newsletters based on user behavior is a strategy that produces fruitful results.

  • Weak subject lines – Not testing subject lines and email click-throughs: Most marketing professionals are not aware of the fact that a weak subject line can destroy all their email marketing efforts. Your subject line is the first thing that readers will see, and it should be crafted in such a way that it piques their interest and makes them want to read more. To increase your open rates, your subject line should be relevant, specific, engaging and should state the targeted benefit. Ensure that your subject line is crisp and does not exceed 50 characters. Avoid using marketing words such as “free”, “sale”, “save money” etc. These words may make your readers push your email newsletters to the spam folder. Instead, start with words like “Here are…”, “About your…” to win their attention.

  • Not testing HTML and plain text email templates: So now, you are ready with your email template, right? Your next step should be to decide on the format in which you are going to send your email newsletter – HTML or plain text email template. If you are going to send text-only emails, then it’s just a standard configuration but HTML email templates are much more appealing than plain text email templates.

HTML email newsletters are visual emails that attract the attention of your subscriber more effectively than words. But you can’t come to the conclusion that plain text email newsletters are outdated. Many mobile devices can render only text emails and there are some subscribers who prefer text emails over HTML. Generally, people think hitting the ‘convert HTML to text’ button in your email marketing solution, will do all the work. But this conversion tool pulls the text out of your HTML message and drops it into text module. Plain text email templates need to be formatted and organized differently to lay emphasis on important content.

Now you are all set to work on your first email newsletter. Though it is human to make mistakes, this detailed list will help you avoid some major errors and save your head.

Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor is the VP, Business Development at Forix web design in Portland, OR. Forix offers affordable and ethical SEO services in Portland and web design and development services helping small businesses with their Internet marketing needs.

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Post Penguin Link Building

Dec 12, 2012   //   by Roman Viliavin   //   Google, guest blogging, internet marketing, SEO, SEO Blog  //  7 Comments

Post Penguin Link Building

google_penguin_update In the web landscape, it is no secret that Google is a giant, rolling out updates every other day to its algorithm to establish absolute relevancy of results and an improved user experience. This is acutely focused at making the search engine respond to queries in the desired manner, rendering results with information a user is specifically looking for.

Despite the fact that a Penguin is an adorable creature, when Google Penguin came, it proved to be the worst nightmare for SEO experts and website owners since rankings of countless websites fell like soldiers losing in a battlefield.

The release of Google Penguin was announced on 24th April, 2012 and to the great disappointment of many, caught them by surprise. Sources cited that the underlying reason for releasing this update was the identification of websites who were violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by incorporating black hat SEO techniques like cloaking, link schemes, keyword stuffing, duplicate content and others.

Mercilessly retaliating against the spammy websites, link building is one aspect that attracted a lot of limelight in the post Penguin era.  For website owners who have been working for years on link-building, the algorithm update came as a shock as they saw all their efforts going down the drain. The update implied that link building has gotten more technical than ever before and only the more skilled ones will now be able to survive.

A fallacious believe around which the Search Engine Optimization strategies were structured till now was that links are just a viable means to bring more traffic to the website but do not have the potential to actually hurt your website rankings. Nothing can be farther from the truth as the secret is out. The way links are incorporated in a website can now have an influential role to play in the post Penguin age.

The update has been exceptionally successful in knocking down spam sites, but if you are one of those who have made use of black hat SEO techniques to land among the top search engine results, Google is going to hit you hard. To avoid it, it is time to whiten the hat and rebuild your SEO strategy. After all, it is never too late to repent.

While a lot has been said and done when it comes to post Penguin link building, some fool-proof tips to not only secure improvements in your rankings, but also to survive the Penguin update successfully are outlined below.

1.     Get Social to Spell Success

We are living in the social media age and if you are wondering how social media and link building are associated, read on.

Whenever you post fresh content on your blog or website, make sure you share it on all of your social media pages. This should be done like a reflex. A lot of websites failed badly despite regular posts on their blogs. Why? Because they were not sharing them over Facebook, Google + or Twitter. What is the point of boasting about so-so number of fans and followers if you are not showing them your content?

This helps you create a win-win situation where all you have to do is to make social media spread your content virally, well beyond the premises of your fan base and voila! you get likes, +1’s and retweets. What is there to lose? Zilch!

 twitterfacebookg+

2.     Inner-Page Linking

A mistake a lot of SEO experts and website owners make is that they always link to their homepage. While it cannot be denied that homepage is the most important page of any website, Google is going to raise an eyebrow if it finds all of the backlinks pointing to your homepage. Internal linking is very important because that is where the real content is believed to be. It does not make any sense to Googlebot that none of the links are pointing to the content on the inner pages of the website where blog posts, videos and guides are available.

Take time to improve your website’s internal structure and make sure that the right keywords are directing the users to the right web pages. The following is an example of a website SEOMOZ that uses different mediums to provide links to its internal web pages.

seomoz

3.     Diversify Your Anchor Texts

It is time you get a break from the traditional SEO practices because another element Google Penguin plans to address is on-site and off-site over-optimization. Just imagine how annoying Google can get when it feels that you are forcing it to rank you for a specific keyword such as ‘cheap cars for sale.’ Google will find it highly suspicious that all of your link partners are using the exact key phrase to link to you, which not only happens to be pasted over your title bar but homepage as well.

If people choose to link to you naturally, they are most likely to be using different anchor texts to do so. This way you will achieve linking organically, which will eventually get the wheels going in the right direction. Don’t forget, diversity is the key.

4.     Quality over Quantity

Google is going to penalize you if it finds that you have a large number of backlinks from sites that are untrustworthy. It is imperative to understand that one quality link from a blog is better than 30 from unreliable sources. Go for quality because even if it is going to be a small number, it is going to work for you. Of course, you do not want to go to sleep every night wondering if you are next on Penguin’s hit list.

5.     Charm with Link-Worthy Content

Last but not the least; you have to stay focused at producing content that others find link-worthy. Stuff that fails to engage readers is not going to get you anywhere. This is because bad user experience is synonymous to low Google rankings. Give your readers something that encourages them to stay with you or even come back again. Content is, and will always be, king.

With the tips above, we hope that you will be able to take your website’s link building in the post Penguin period a step ahead. With the rules of the game changed, link building is no rocket science, but when done appropriately, it can and will work wonders for you.

 

An article was prepared by SEM Company Promodo.

Roman Viliavin

Roman Viliavin, vice CEO at Promodo. Unconventional Thinker and candidate master of chess. Roman has been working in the field of search engine optimization since 2005 and is the moving spirit of the company. Participant and speaker of all major events in SEO business. Roman has successfully completed dozens of projects and gladly shares his experience with SEO community via articles and various online and offline publications. Follow Promodo on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Buying Online Traffic for Links – Worth it?

Dec 7, 2012   //   by Carter   //   internet marketing, SEO, SEO Blog  //  2 Comments

Distilled recently discussed the possibility of buying awareness to build links, a possibility that I’ve toyed around with in the past with some success. Carson Ward’s test certainly demonstrated it was possible to build links this way, but is it a worthwhile use of time and money?
I hate giving vague answers, but the truth is that it’s going to depend on your content, audience, and industry. However, I can offer some advice on how to figure it out for yourself, and possible other uses of advertising traffic you may not have considered.

Which Channels Are Best?

Carson’s results are in line with my own on this. AdWords impressions cost more than the keyword tool says they’re going to, and the value probably isn’t there, because even low competition informational keywords end up going for about half a dollar per click. AdWords appears to be for selling, plain and simple.

Reddit and StumbleUpon ads are cheapest, but also have some of the lowest time on site. Of course, high bounce rates can make time on site appear lower than it actually is. The most promising ads seem to be on Facebook or targeted display ads, with the display ads doing best in terms of links and price. Obviously, Facebook ads can lead to social subscribers and word of mouth that are beneficial even in the absence of links.
That said, I wouldn’t write off Reddit or StumbleUpon as possibilities, simply because they send such a large amount of traffic at such a low cost. If you gain enough traction with StumbleUpon, it’s algorithm will continue to send traffic for quite a while. In both cases, if you can get the conversion rates high enough, the huge traffic potential makes these promising channels for those who know how to use them.
As I said, success is going to depend on your company, which is why you’ll need to find ways to…

Measure Success

How you measure success is going to depend on what your goals are, and links aren’t necessarily the only thing you should be taking into consideration. However, assuming it’s all about search engine authority, you’ll need to be thinking about:

  • Time invested in the ad campaigns
  • Time that would have been invested in outreach for the same results
  • The financial value of the time invested in either
  • The possibility that ads and outreach can work together as multipliers
  • The link diversity, the quality of the site sites that link, the domain and page authority of the links, the relevance of the link pages and anchor text, the number of referrals from the links, and the quality of the referral traffic
  • The actual impact on rankings

Clearly, metrics are never as clean in this industry as we’d like them to be, but here are a few ways to make things cleaner (I’m considering outreach a “channel” as well):

  • Track which channels are used on which posts, and the number of hours invested in each channel toward that post
  • Vary which channels are being used to what extent, and randomly choose one channel to avoid using at all for each post
  • Over time, look for correlations between the number of hours invested in each tactic, and the results
  • Examine whether a mixture of strategies results in a different impact than either of the strategies acting alone
  • When possible, compare metrics between posts that went live at the same time

This is not nearly as clean as straightforward A/B testing, but it can be hard to justify using only one channel for each post. Even when you can, you still have to recognize that the content of each post is different, and this is going to have an impact on your results. You can only compensate for this by testing the results on a large number of posts.

Another Use for Paid Traffic

What many online marketers don’t realize is that paid traffic can also be used to test content. All too often, a piece of content goes live and falls flat on its face. If you’ve invested in particularly large amount of time in a piece of content, it may be worth the effort to test its effectiveness using paid traffic. In this way, you can test the content before it is released the general public.

Conclusions

Is it worth it to buy awareness as a method of building links? My experience tells me that it probably will be useful for most businesses to divert some of their funds in this direction. The most important aspect of this is making sure the ads are only displayed and written for influencers, the kind of people who will link to and share content. Other advertising dollars will probably be better spent on direct conversions.
However, it’s equally important to recognize that advertising channels become increasingly saturated over time, and ad blindness is a growing concern. Investing in relationships is a skill that can’t be outright replaced with ad money.
Do you think it’s worth it to buy traffic as a link building method?
Image credit: joiseyshowaa

Carter

Carter Bowles is a freelance writer, science blogger, and SEO enthusiast. He lives in Idaho with his wife and daughter, where he is pursuing degrees in physics and statistics. Carter writes for Northcutt, a Chicago based SEO and Inbound Marketing company. Like Northcutt on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check out all they have to offer at www.northcutt.com.

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SUBREDDITS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AND SEO

Aug 10, 2012   //   by Abel   //   internet marketing, link building, SEO, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  16 Comments

Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.

Screenshot from reddit.com

A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:

- Askreddit

- Gaming

- Pics

- World News

- WTF

These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.

Benefitting From Your Own subreddits

Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.

subreddit for seo anchor text
Anchor text is “Lil Wayne quits music” under “Music” subreddit

The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.

Summary

Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.

Abel

Abel is a writer, online marketing expert, and advocate for email marketing software company, Benchmark Email.

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AB Testing: The Best Method to Forecast Success of Online Business

Jul 18, 2012   //   by Ruben   //   internet marketing  //  11 Comments

Online entrepreneurs need to obtain several tools that can help their businesses thrive in the World Wide Web and ensure a good return of investment. AB testing is one of the most effective devices that can help businessmen gauge the soundness of their marketing strategy. As a result, they can maximize their income and avoid possible pitfalls along the way.

(Courtesy of Mil8)

Programs that can Rev up AB Testing

Prior to the test, it is imperative for the proprietors to determine which aspects of the site need to be tested. This may include the viability of one product to outsell the competition, or the feasibility of the targeted sales for a certain period.

The setting of the test should then be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the calculated results will be precise and accurate. There’s a plethora of testing programs available for this purpose.

Visual Website Optimizer is one of the most recommended tools tailored for AB testing. It comes with numerous features that are easy to use. It also promises quick testing results. Alternatively, savvy online entrepreneurs who opt to stick with HTML and Javascript may find Google’s web optimizing tool more practical.

Other options include Test & target, SiteSpect and Vertser, which are currently the top notch programs. They are guaranteed by experts to be user-friendly and expedient. It has to be noted, though, that each of these programs adopts distinct method of calculation.

How these AB Testing Tools Work

In deciding about the programs to be used, it is imperative for Internet-based entrepreneurs to know about the procedure at which the results from the AB testing are calculated. Two of the most common methods include:

  1. Element Replacement

This involves the creation of multiple versions of an element by using HTML on the testing tool. The process can be done before a page loads. When the entrepreneurs reach the beta stage, or once the procedure goes live, the alternatives of the elements will be randomly shown in a screen that is not yet viewed by the website visitors.

As such, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to decide on the page layouts and designs that bets reflect the theme of their website. This erases the need to create numerous dummy sites which can both be costly and time consuming.

  1. Redirection to alternative links

In cases when the whole page needs to be tested, users may go for the creation and uploading a new page to the website. This will serve as a variant that can automatically function by redirecting the audiences to an alternative page. If a certain URL can’t be accessed, for example, visitors can be taken to a backup site containing slight variations. Doing so can be beneficial to businessmen as they can freely create numerous versions of their website to check its dynamism and aesthetics.

Getting Started

Here are easy to follow steps for AB testing:

  1. Select a page to be assessed.
  2. Determine the elements that needed testing.
  3. Add tags to the main page and versions made for faster tracking of results.
  4. Enter the URL in the tool window before the tests.
  5. Test the A and B versions simultaneously to achieve consistent results.
  6. Make sure that each audience sees only one of the variants.
  7. Check back for test results displayed in the dialogue box after each run.

Tips in AB Testing

In order to get to maximize the test, users should run the process long enough. It is a must to amass ample traffic volume to get noteworthy results. It may also help to master the codes and incorporate the alterations subtly to avoid blunders. Remember to maintain a consistent layout.

Ruben

This is a guest post by Ruben Corbo. He is a freelancer writer specialized in different topics including technology, online marketing with an AB Testing guide and Product Recommendation Engines, music, art, and motivation. When Ruben is not writing he is producing and composing music for short films and other forms of visual arts.

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CASE STUDY: How to Attract More Blog Traffic via YouTube (Even If You’re No Good with Videos)

Searching for ways to increase the number of your loyal audience/subscribers and daily earnings for your blog? Well, I continuously get more and more targeted viewers for my blog and keep it at the top of search engine results using the power of YouTube marketing.

As a result, my earnings increased a lot. You may ask me: Isn’t it that YouTube marketing is already an Internet buzzword or one of the most common ways of promoting/advertising various products, services and stuffs like that? Definitely! However, there are other ways of doing things the other way to get the results you want, and this blog post is just all about that.

Dominate a Niche with Long Tail Pro

Using LTP, I was able to dominate a particular niche by. It helped me discover topics for my online YouTube marketing video. What I often do with LTP is enter multiple seed keywords, and soon enough, I find exact match domains with low competition yet profitable keywords.

 

 I use both domain and keywords, and as a consequence, I get more and more subscribers as well as increased page rank for my marketing video. As a more specific example, using exact domain names and long tail keywords is much better than competing with the fiercest (or most competitive) keywords for YouTube videos.

This way, my YouTube video made it to the second page of search engine results within 5 days, that is, I was able to dominate a particular niche about driving traffic to my site. I simply cannot ignore the power of LTP marketing for my YouTube video marketing.

Do Things the Right Way Using Video Marketing

I am now getting more targeted traffic, higher/massive views and a larger number of subscribers with my YouTube marketing video: entitled, Drive Traffic to Your Site by Offering Irresistible Gifts. My Youtube visitors get hooked on watching the video in order to learn more about the offers.

The video is all about driving traffic or unique visitors to blogs through social media sites, guest posting, and a lot more (as you can see later as you continue reading this post). Also, it tells people how to avoid failing Internet marketing by using the step-by-step strategies for increased targeted traffics.

In addition, it mentions about the importance of blog traffic within the first 24to72 hours for visits to be counted as unique ones. As my YouTube viewers keep on watching the video, they are able to understand better what is in store for.

With the YouTube marketing video, I was able to direct my audience to my blog. When they do visit it, I get unique pageviews. They may read the rest of the article or explore more of it. Since their primary objective is to obtain a free copy of the e-book, they are required to subscribe first.

After they sign up, they would receive a message stating that they have to confirm their subscription. When they do confirm their registration, they will have to check their email again for the actual download of the eBook to take place.

This is actually what email marketing is all about, that is, getting long term customers with their email addresses added to my list of contacts where I can then forward them with weekly SEO tips – just as it was promised to them prior to their subscription.

I then visit problogger.net as a guest blogger. It is where I would post something like, ”Build Keyword Density the Right Way.”

This is where I recommend using search engine optimization techniques and adding appropriate keywords for high-quality persuasive copywriting. There I advise the use of naturally sounding keywords for everyone’s copywriting needs.

I gave illustrations such that video marketers would be able to learn the appropriate ways of shortening, lengthening and/or using keyword phrases with the product/service copy that they are describing.

I also added that writers have to write a copy first, go back with the keywords, and place them suitably in the copy itself (which definitely would prove very useful to them). As for my part, I was able to make a copy that really flows naturally and that appeal to a larger number of viewers and search engine sites.

Furthermore, in less than three weeks, I already gained more than 20,000 views. This is because I used referral social media multipliers and emailwire.com, a SEO press release distribution site that provides guaranteed results.

For instance, with the social media freetweettube.com, there is always an influx of tweets for my Youtube marketing channel while with emailwire, my press release about SEOArticleWriteService got the chance to be published and distributed to thousands of journalists, trade magazines, newsrooms, online news sites, major newswires, RSS feeds and major news search engines. With these strategies and tools that I used, you sure can get the results you want to achieve to make your site viral in no time.

My YouTube marketing, as of this writing, proves viral although it has just been uploaded three weeks ago. It has ranked well too considering that the other videos in the ranking were uploaded less than a year or about five years ago. You can also see for yourself that my video is only about 3 minutes compared to the other two: which are approximately 15 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively. My video is a proof of getting your videos viral too.  You only have to follow the steps or by visiting the sites that I mentioned above.

Now that you know how to precisely attract more blog traffic via YouTube marketing, it is time to present a summary of the most important lessons in this post. First, the importance of using simultaneously free exact domain with long tail yet profitable keywords for your video for you to earn more.

Second, the use of strategies and tools (such as irresistible gift offers, guest blogs, email marketing, pro-bloggers, social media networks, press releases and a lot more) for you to cash in more money.

Luckily for you, with this post, you sure can turn your viewers into loyal audience/subscribers, powerful pool of online community, or simply, target market for your blog and its updates.

Bill

Bill Achola is on a mission to help small business people get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his Affordable SEO Service for Small Business that will drive targeted traffic to your website. Be sure to follow him on Twitter

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