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
It might be that you are a new startup with a limited marketing budget (and thus want to avoid the costs), or maybe you feel that yourself or an in-house employee will do a better job of capturing the right tone and feel of your company.
Whatever the motivation, there are pros and cons to both approaches. This content will discuss the advantages of both options, and then (hopefully) help you make the right decision for your company.
Writing Press Releases Yourself
After reading through this blog post, you should have a clear idea of what is required to write a press release. In short, you need:
- A good story.
- Good writing skills (specific to press releases).
There are distinct advantages of writing your own press releases, and I would fully encourage you to do so if you can consistently write well (or have an employee to write for you). If you are unwilling to invest in an employee, or unsure of how eschewing a professional PR service can help you, read through the following reasons:
A professionally written press release can cost you anywhere from $200 to $500. Considering that this is just a 1-page document, which will eventually contain information that you will provide, this seems an exorbitant price.
While press release writing services make every effort to personalize every press release, there is a distinct style for each writer and for each company as well. Personalized ‘style’ of press or media releases. A powerful example of this is Google – check Google Press for a sample of effective personalized press releases can be.
Be warned though. This is not something easy to accomplish. As press releases are terse, 1-page news items with a very big emphasis on content, it is difficult to establish a style.
Practice will help you improve, and if you feel that the identity and image of your company will be better served by writing the press release yourself rather than outsourcing it, then make sure you read many different press releases from other companies to get a feel of how to build your unique style.
Being directly involved with your industry, you are in the best position to highlight the advantages of your ‘news’ to your potential consumers and competitors.
You will be able to provide relevant, current information and your insight into your industry will also help you to pinpoint which news hook will be most successful.
Matching the expertise of a professional press release writer is a difficult task. On the other hand, in-house press release writing, especially if done by an employee, can be ‘good enough’ if due attention is paid to getting the details right.
Professional Press Release Writing
Despite the obvious advantages of writing your own press release, a professional press release service gives you specific, money-valuable benefits:
Professional press release services have the advantage of having working in this field for a lot longer than you – they have written (hopefully) dozens of press releases, and know the industry inside out.
As such, they are well placed to avoid mistakes that beginning press release writers might make and are likely to produce good, reliable press releases.
Of course, there is also a chance that the press release might not be what you are looking for – maybe the writer gets the tone wrong, or underplays certain features that you wanted to give prominence to.
The added experience will also ensure that the writer will be able to judge better whether the information you’ve given him is enough, not enough or too much. In addition, there is the value of having an ‘outside’ perspective. Outsourcing your press release to an independent PR service will:
- Allow them to present the news in a more realistic light.
- Discourage you from making a press release without having effective content.
Be careful about putting too much faith in the press release service to tell you what is right or wrong, however. The responsibility of ensuring that there is enough ‘newsworthy’ information in your press release is yours, not of the service.
A press release can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a day to write, revise and get just right. If you are part of a fast-paced company where you measure your time in hundreds of dollars, then spending that much time on a press release might seem expensive especially since you can get better results by outsourcing the press release.
Do not underestimate the time required to write a press release – for your news to be a full-blown success, every little detail has to be just right.
It’s just a 1-page document. Why does it cost so much?
I’m faced with that question every day. Considering that you will still have to provide a lot of the information to the press release service, it seems ridiculous to pay over $200 (and up to $500) for a press release. But in the end, it’s the results that justify the costs.
A professionally written press release will always have a better chance of being accepted for distribution, and the experience of a professional PR service will serve you will in making your press release successful.
Another factor working in the favor of professional press release services is their ‘package deals’ – a promise to distribute your press release at a discounted rate if you have your press release written by them.
Costs vs. Expertise
I’ve been saying this throughout the content, and I say it again:
Your press release is (almost) worthless without newsworthy information. Keep this point in your mind as you make the choice between writing the press release yourself (using the advice in thisblog post) and outsourcing it to a professional press release service. Where will that newsworthy information come from? From you.
In fact, even if you outsource the press release, the bulk of the information put in the press release will come from you, either as part of the original specifications presented, or from the questions that the writer will ask you to help him write the press release.
So what are you really paying them for?
Their experience – press release writers have considerable, battle-field knowledge of writing press releases – the kind that only comes through time. You are also paying for their language and marketing skills, as writing a press release requires a specific writing style that does not fit into traditional sales copy.
Don’t hire a sales letter writer to write your press release until you are sure they have experience in writing successful press releases.
However, if you are willing to learn and apply the knowledge from this content (or have an employee as a suitable candidate), in-house press releases can be just as successful as those from a PR service. The key is to do two things repeatedly:
- Ensure that you are fully prepared.
- Differentiate between traditional sales copy and press release writing and make the effort to write ‘in a reporting, unbiased style’.
Choosing the Right Service
While this content goes a long way towards helping you write your own press releases, the primary aim is to guide you into preparing the best press release for your company, each and every time.
And sometimes, a company does not have the time, or the technical skills, to dedicate resources towards in-house press release writing.
In such cases, outsourcing your press release requirements becomes necessary. This section, although concise, will help you in picking the right service for your company.
Hiring a PR service
If you are looking to hire a professional press release service, make sure that you complete the following checklist.
- Does the service have a portfolio or a client’s list? Make sure that you can see visible results, and don’t be afraid to ask for proof.
- Compare costs and services between different PR companies to make sure you get the best deal.
- Understand the fine print. Some PR firms may not allow for more than 1 revision, and some also don’t allow for free consultations – which essentially means that if the PR firm decides that your ‘story’ is not newsworthy, you would have ended up paying for nothing.
- Don’t automatically jump for combined packages (press release writing and distribution). Make sure the investment is worth it, and that you see a list of the media contacts (at least their names, if not their contact information) that your press release will be distributed to.
- Themed distributions are very different in impact to generic distributions, so don’t fall into the trap of paying less and actually getting something that is worth nothing to your company.
- If you like the company’s portfolio, try to negotiate a discounted package in return for bringing all your press release business to them. PR firms would normally not refuse long-term business relationships, and the promise of continued business can possibly lower your long-term costs as well.
Hiring a freelance writer
Of course, if the cost is a really serious issue, and you cannot have the press release written in-house (for various reasons) then you may be better served by outsourcing to a freelance writer.
There are several online freelance websites from where you can hire good writers – Elance and RentACoder are the most popular, and most effective.
With freelance writers, there is the advantage of saving on money – a good press release can be written for $100 or less. On the other hand, there is a risk of not getting what you really want.
I’ll not go into the details of how to ensure that you don’t get your money’s worth as there are many ”freelance hiring”guides on the Internet (some good, some bad, and some bad copies of good guides).
Just make sure that you follow the same pattern as you would when hiring a PR service – check their portfolio, and do your best to provide them with complete information.
RentACoder has many safeguards that prevent buyers (like you) from projects that go bad, so trust the system and follow their advice.
However, one bad apple does not make everyone else incompetent. Freelance websites are full of hard-working individuals wanting to earn good money – make sure that you find someone who is capable of doing the job, and then enjoy the benefits of a well-written press release for a fraction of the price.
What is your opinion on DIY vs Professional writers?
These days everyone keeps looking for guest bloggers to write guest posts for their blogs. Getting guest posts isn’t a hard task in fact it can be the easiest thing if you’ve have a high traffic blog.
If you look at my blog, you’ll see I get bunch of guest posts every day and many bloggers keeps asking me what I’m doing to get guest posts? Today I’m sharing 5 effective strategies that I’ve used to get guest posts on my blog.
1. Add Guest post Page
This is far one of the easiest way to get guest posts on your blog. All you need to do is to create a “write for us” page on your blog. If you never created a guest post page than here’s what you need to add:
So, you want to write for Blog Name? We love to publish your guest post. Now don’t ask for benefits, because we Blog Name is one of the fastest growing blog on the planet. The benefits are just much more then getting traffic or backlinks, you can gain exposure and introduce your blog to our fastest growing community.
Some simple Requirements
- Posts are at least 450+ words.
- Interacting and replying to comments is must.
- Posts have a basic structure and are at least broken down into paragraphs.
- Posts must be in good English.
- Please don’t add more than two links.
- The post you submit to us is unique.
How to guest post to Blog Name?
- Register an account here
- Add your Full name, second name and fill out a short profile Bio info, feel free to add a link or two to your blog/site (use HTML)
- Visit Gravatar.com, having an image is a must in your profile
- Write your post, save it and it will be reviewed and published asap!!
2. Invite Bloggers
You can contact bloggers with a good pitch and why you’d like to get the guest posts from them. This is very effective strategy and I’ve good success with it. You don’t have to contact high profile or A list bloggers, contact an average blogger.
You can use blogging communities to find bloggers, who may be interested in doing guest posting on your blog.
Blokube is one of those communities which can help you find great bloggers who can write guest posts for your blog.
3. Join Social Media Networks
This may not be very effective way but still a useful one. I did found few guest bloggers who wants to do guest posting for my blog through Social Media Networks like Facebook & Twitter. In order to get success from Facebook & Twitter, you need to be very active in those networks.
You can use free/paid tools to automate the process – Dlvr.it, Triberr, Bufferapp,Tweetdeck, etc.
I’m sure most of you already know about MyBlogGuest, most awesome marketplace for finding guest posts for your blog. It is a forum community where bloggers give info about their blogs and then ask for guest posts from other bloggers/users.
MyBlogGuest is a unique community that is based on one simple principle: if you provide quality, you don’t need to pay to be heard. It is not just about getting more guest posts, it has forum, marketplace, gallery, find blogs for guest posting and much more. It even has a Premium Feature & Ann did great work in branding it.
5. Run a Guest blogging contest
Last but not least – Run a guest blogging contest, like I’m doing on Blokube Blog. Give away cash/ebooks/tools as prizes to the contest winners who do most number of guest posts on your blog. This can be a very effective strategy but to be very successful with guest blogging contest, you need to market it properly. Here’s what you can do to make sure your contest is a success:
- Contact bloggers/marketers and ask them to write a post about the contest
- Get a banner designed and ask the participants to put it on their blogs.
- Promote the contest on Forums like DigitalPoint, Warrior Forums & Webmaster Forums.
- Use Buysellads to do some paid promotion.
Over To You
All the above factors contributed effectively my blog in getting quality guest posts and will work for any type of content in any niche, in case you find something to disagree with in this post or have an opinion on this topic, please do share it with us below. If you find this post useful than please share it on Twitter or Facebook!
This is a guest post from Devesh. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
If you are trying to market your new blog, chances are you’ve already looked into search engine optimization then here are 6 Kick-ass ways to market your blog:
1. Building Mailing list
My single biggest mistake was not to build a list from beginning. I did not realize the power of list building until later on.
Building a list is an extremely popular aspect of the internet marketing industry. Everyone says repeatedly all the time, “the money is in the list!” And it is totally true.
Here are 5 reasons why you should build your list
- Connect – Emails give you an opportunity to make your fans feel more closely connected with you.
- Referrals – Put you in a position to receive regular referrals.
- Easier – Make your sales process easier and more productive.
- Sart conversations with people you are targeting.
- This gives you a chance to build a good relationship with them and to show them that you will only provide them with quality products that can really help them
2. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting, one of the easiest and most effective way to market a new site/blog and get targeted traffic and backlinks. If people can see you being so active and commenting everywhere they end up, they will be more inclined to comment on yours, because you become memorable. Take the time to leave a useful comment often enough, don’t just write “great post” or “thanks”. Don’t SPAM or self-promote when leaving blog comments. Another added benefit to blog commenting is that if you leave useful comments regularly, the blog owner will eventually notice. This greatly increases your chances of establishing a great new business relationship that could result in more links, traffic, and more subscribers to your list.
3. Guest posting
This is one of the best ways of getting website traffic to your squeeze page and/or blog. Make sure it is very high quality, and is something that provides genuine value and your chances of your request being accepted will increase.
Here are 5 Reasons why you should do Guest Posting.
- Drive targeted traffic.
- Build contact with other bloggers.
- Increase your brand awareness? (How to Build a Great Brand for Your Blog).
- Build high quality Backlinks to your blog.
- Get new subscribers.