top-7-blogs

What the heck is SEO? If you have launched a website, started a blog or a vlog, or attempted any sort of e-commerce, the term has come us at least once.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is not a hard concept to grasp. It is the inclusion or repetition of data that lets search engines know what your page is about. This helps the algorithms used by Google, Bing or Amazon (yes, Amazon functions much like a search engine) find your page and show it to anybody who might be interested.

What kind of data? Well, it’s more than just hashtags and keywords, although those can be helpful. Search engines like Google want to know that your site is trustworthy, authoritative and offers quality information/products. Positive reviews, links, pingbacks, unique content and social networking all help to optimize your site for search engines and move you up to the first page of search results.

So who is out there teaching regular people like you and me how to get the most out of SEO marketing? Below is a list of 7 blogs that anybody interested in the science of digital marketing should be following.

  1. Hubspot Blogs

http://blog.hubspot.com/

Lots of great content on how to make great content and case studies of real-world companies who are doing it right.

  1. Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google and SEO

https://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

A personal look at technology, marketing, and SEO. The blog is chock full of tips, tidbits, and reflections.

  1. Search Engine Land

http://searchengineland.com/

It is the how-to guide about everything Google. This site should be the SEO novice’s bible.

  1. Social Media Examiner

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

For those of us who rely heavily on social networking and social marketing, this site is an invaluable resource on how to do it right and get the most out of your connections.

  1. UnMarketing

http://www.unmarketing.com/

This irreverent and often hilarious blog examines all the ways modern marketing and PR fail, and how you can succeed by NOT doing what the pros are doing.

  1. SEO Book

http://www.seobook.com/blog

A great blog for those who are fairly tech savvy and want to stay abreast of all the SEO related trends, news, and resources.

  1. Content Marketing Institute

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog/

This is a wonderful resource for those who rely heavily on content to drive traffic and sales. The information is accessible to everyone, regardless of your level of competency.

Like most things in life, the only way to become proficient in SEO is to get out there and try. The list of resources above will help you pick up tips, techniques, and advice from those who have gone before you. But the truth is the only way to know what combination of elements will work best for you is to experiment. What has worked for others may not be a good fit for you; finding your niche and perfecting your strategy will take time and courage. The rewards, however, are worth the effort.

content-marketing-habits

When recently reading through a multitude of articles regarding content marketers, I came to the realization that there are some articles that give advice on how to increase the quality of a certain piece; however, these same articles also do not really give good enough advice on how to actually become a better content marketer.

It’s no secret that creating useful and original content as quickly and efficiently as possible is extremely important. The big question, however, involves how to make this process a common part of our overall mental framework. A big part involved content marketers being asked about what they personally thought were the common habits of a content marketer. Below are the top eleven reasons they were able to come up with.

1. CONSTANTLY NETWORK

The best way to promote and share all of your content is to not only keep in touch with your current friends, but also making new friends by networking, especially via social media. This means that you will also need to contribute to various websites and companies in order to help other content marketers succeed at the same time.

2. LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE ACTIVELY

It’s always important to listen to your core audience, even though the main goal of a content marketer is to have their voice heard by other individuals. The best way to achieve this is to read emails and social media messages from your readers, as well as emailing these same readers yourself to help determine what specific issues that they may be having.

3. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH

As human beings, it’s only natural for us to read thousands upon thousands of different things on a regular basis; however, we often fail to bookmark important things to use as reference points later on down the road. As a content marketer, this is also another point of importance. Take the time to make notes, take photographs, or screenshot important documents that you feel will be of some eventual importance to your projects.

4. EXTRACT KNOWLEDGE FROM OTHER INDIVIDUALS

As a content marketer, you are certainly no stranger to creating new and unique content for other people to check out. However, there may be instances where your own form of creativity may not be enough. You may find yourself needing to rely on other individuals’ insights regarding content that you are creating or planning to create. There are various ways to obtain this information, such as written question-and-answer sessions and verbal interviews.

5. PAY ATTENTION HOW OTHER CONTENT PERFORMS

By watching how other content in your area performs, you will be able to effectively see what works and what doesn’t. This will help you, as a content marketer, to spot specific patterns in order to help you improve your skills.

6. ALWAYS OBSESS OVER QUALITY

You’ve likely heard the phrase “quality over quantity” at some point in your life. This is a phrase that most definitely applies to content marketers. Make quality a big part of your creative process, as not only will it help you be different than other content marketers, but it will certainly help you get noticed as well.

7. ASK YOURSELF IF WHAT YOU’RE CREATING PROVIDES VALUE

As a content marketer, it’s always important for you to look at your own creations as if you were a reader and asking yourself whether or not what you’re looking at provides a sense of value. This is even more helpful if you are able to understand who your audience truly is, especially since they may likely be able to help you with all of your various content marketing efforts in the long run.

8. PUT YOURSELF IN “IDEA MODE”

There are many content marketers who are able to come up with ideas for topics on a passive basis, mainly thanks to everyday experiences that they may be having. This is something that also requires some form of organizational skills as well, meaning that content marketers are rather meticulous in terms of keeping track of all of the ideas that they have.

9. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS

In order to obtain a deeper understanding of their core audience, content marketers are always encouraged to ask as many questions as possible. This will help a content marketer to determine facts including what their audience likes, what they dislike, and what their overall reaction may be to a particular piece of content.

10. BE AS AMBITIOUS AS POSSIBLE

Perhaps the most important quality that any content marketer can possess is ambition. This means going beyond simply striving to be better than a competitor – this means striving to be better than literally everyone else, regardless of who they are.

11. ALWAYS EXERCISE CURIOSITY

Another important thing that content marketers should keep in mind is that curiosity is considered to be more of a trait than a habit, but there’s also nothing wrong with content marketers being curious about anything. This involves asking questions regarding issues such as why someone new decided to join a company or asking someone in an important position what they are worried about the most. This information can be used by content marketers to develop true inspiration to create wonderful pieces of content.

TO SUMMARISE…

The main responsibility for content marketers, again, is to provide their readers with content that is valuable to them. Content marketers can become better at their work when they are able to develop strong frameworks for how they not only think about content, but also the processes that they use to create that content.

seo

Your reputation online relies on choosing an SEO expert or company that will enhance your site’s ranking in search engines. Choosing the wrong SEO services could actually damage your business or reduce your site’s chances of success.

The SEO services you choose should be able to provide evidence of success, assure you that your site will not be penalized for bad practices and ensure that it will go on performing well in search results. These are the main reasons why some background checks need to be made before deciding who you can trust to handle the SEO of your site.

Website Ranking

Professionals who provide SEO services will make sure that your site gains a high page rank for certain keywords that relate to your content. They will pick the right keywords for your site and work hard at getting your content to rank high in results at Google and in many other search engines.

Ask them which keywords their site ranks highest for, so you can check that they have been successful in optimizing their own content. Only go ahead if their own content stands out in search results.

Seek out some testimonials from site owners who have benefitted from using SEO services from someone you are thinking of hiring. If these are not featured on the site you are looking at, ask for examples of previous successes that you can check for yourself.

Good and Bad SEO Practices

Experts in SEO know exactly what is acceptable to search engines and what is not. Unfortunately, there are some scam companies offering SEO services which use techniques known as “black hat”. These manipulative techniques provide a short-term boost to SEO but will get the site banned by search engines when evidence of black hat methods is detected.

Link building plays an important part in SEO, but this can get your site banned if your content is linked back from inappropriate sites. You need to know where how and where your site will be linked.

  • Good SEO services will get your content linked back from quality sites with text that is clearly related to your own content.
  • Inappropriate linking is easily identified by search engines when backlinks only come from poor quality sites designed only for link building, without any real content.

Submitting to multiple search engines by using automation can also get a site rejected. Ask how many search engines your site can be submitted to. If the response is that it will go to hundreds or thousands of search engines, and it is obvious that automation will be involved, there is a danger of rejection by search engines.

Ongoing SEO

There is little point in selecting someone to work on your site if there will be no follow-up to the initial optimization. Your site needs constant attention to SEO, so be sure to choose an SEO services that are set up to maintain its ranking in search engines.

Before picking SEO services for your site, it is best if you get to know a little about page ranking in search engines, acceptable optimization techniques and ongoing SEO practices. This knowledge will enable you to ask the right questions and to evaluate the responses you get from anyone offering SEO services.

content-marketing

Content marketing has become a buzz word in recent years, but why has it become so popular, and what exactly is it? This article looks at what content marketing can achieve, and why the need for it has become so important.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a move away from traditional advertising. Whereas in the past, advertising was primarily focused on selling a product, content marketing strategies involve educating the consumer about the product with the goal of converting them into customers. It is the latest move among companies keen to corner a share of the market, from multi-national firms like P&G and Microsoft, to small businesses.

What Does Content Marketing Involve?

Content marketing involves generating a constant and regularly updated stream of content to keep customers focused on a company and their products and services. The content must be relevant and engaging enough to change consumer behavior. It often harnesses the power of social media, video upload websites such as YouTube, and blogging to communicate with customers, offering them interesting features and engaging information.

Why Has Content Marketing Become Important?

In the 21st century, consumers have been exposed to so much advertising over the years that they have begun to mentally disengage. Technology has also given us clever methods of actually switching off advertisements, with the ability to record TV programs and then play them back minus the ad breaks, or simply to use catch up TV services without any advertising at all. The idea of “selling” a product has become jaded and messages that are purely promotional, whether on TV, online or via social media is now considered to be “spam”. Customers are becoming more intelligent, and therefore need a more impressive and clever form of advertising, which is where content marketing steps in. Businesses have discovered that the key to retaining existing customers, as well as generating new ones, is not to constantly send out purely promotional messages, but to frequently deliver informative and valuable content that customers actually enjoy and share.

What Forms Can Content Marketing Take?

Content marketing can take many forms, including the following:

  • Blogs
  • Facebook, Twitter and other social media conversations
  • Videos via YouTube or other video sites
  • Podcasts
  • Visual content
  • Apps
  • Content generated by users

When companies harness the power of content marketing, they generally find that they achieve higher rates of success. No wonder it has become so popular in recent times, and there is every sign that content marketing will continue to go from strength to strength in the future. Read more and learn more about Content Marketing at Content Marketing Institute.

inbound-marketing

Most businesses require more than one type of Internet marketing strategy, but marketing methods are beginning to change direction. The trend in marketing is beginning to move away from traditional methods that involve finding leads and reaching out to prospective customers. Rather than continuing to focus on those outbound techniques, many marketers are now putting more effort into inbound marketing.

A growing number of businesses are building sales revenue by leaving a trail of content which allows potential customers to find them. Inbound marketing can lead targeted traffic from various sources to a website that acts as a hub for the business. It’s also effective for directing people towards using a local service or getting involved in an offline activity.

How Inbound Marketing Works

Inbound marketing works by pulling in prospects, rather than pushing out marketing material through traditional marketing methods.

Traditional methods such as advertising and direct selling are obviously trying to get people to spend money. With inbound marketing, however, it does not appear to a prospective client or customer that what the are viewing or hearing is designed to make a sale.

It’s well known in the advertising industry that there is a better chance of persuading people to make a purchase with content that does not look like an ad. When it appears to be an editorial, a video or a blog post, people who are viewing it out of interest are not feeling psychologically defensive against being pitched towards spending money.

Inbound marketing works more on mentally preparing consumers to arrive at point where they are likely to respond to a question in the affirmative. When they have discovered a solution they are prepared to purchase or order whatever it is they now believe is required.

Most people automatically try to block out anything that looks promotional or is obviously some form of advertising, but consumers who are actively looking to buy something can be led to what they want from a review posted on a blog, a video they have just viewed or an ebook they have read.

Inbound Marketing Strategies

The following techniques can all be used for effective inbound marketing:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Blogging
  • Lead Generation
  • Social Media
  • Analytics
  • & more

What-is-inbound-marketing-300x220

How Effective is Inbound Marketing?

The reason why more marketers are changing direction to focus on drawing visitors from content that can be found on blogs, websites and social media is because it’s proven to be more effective. Using SEO in combination with these Internet marketing strategies brings a website or a business to the attention of people who are looking for the precise information, type of product or service it can provide.

When people find helpful content through a search engine, via social media or on a blog, they do not regard it in the same way as they would a promotional email or paid advertising. By the time they arrive at a website from a link they have found for themselves, visitors are already interested in using the service or making a purchase.

Google-Analytics

So, you’ve signed up to Google Analytics in order to get the most from your website, but if you’ve not got experience of running a website or online marketing the complex features can be daunting. That’s why we’ve got 5 great tips that’ll help you get the most out of the program and help you ensure that you know how to improve traffic to your website.

  1. Check Your Tracking ID Is Working

Tracking-Code-Working

First things first, Google Analytics can only track your site if you’ve got tracking code embedded in each page. You can easily check it under “Tracking Info” -> “Tracking Code”. Make sure that the status is “Receiving Data“.   If not, you might have to check it again if it is inserted wrongly or get your web developer to assist in it.

 

  1. Look Out For Traffic And Get Acquainted

Before we start to use Google Analytics to assess things you need to check that people are visiting your site. It’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with how Analytics works. Start by looking at your traffic sources. This is split into three categories – Direct (people who typed your URL into their address bar), Referring (From a link) and Search Engine (from Google or Bing etc). You can also find out how to utilize Google Adwords to enhance your traffic, and monitor how this is working.

  1. Check Your Visitors’ Profile

It’s remarkable what you can find out by checking where your users come from and how they made it on to your site. Look under the “GEO” tab under “Audience” to do this. It can be vital both for marketers and publishers in finding out exactly who they appeal to. You can even find out what people in different parts of the world are searching for when visiting your site – getting the right keywords is critical to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and knowing who’s looking for is incredibly useful.

 

  1. Check Visitors’ Behavior

One of the great things about Analytics is that it can tell you exactly how your users visit your site, you can find out how long they spend on each page, which pages they click through to and even how far they read down a specific page. Working out how users behave on a site can help you design it for the better and ensure you maximize traffic or sales.

  1. Play Around And Discover New Things

We don’t know about you, but when we first used Analytics we found looking at who our users were and how they behaved fascinating. Probably the best way of discovering exactly how you’ll utilize Analytics is to play around yourself and look at what things you find interesting – do you have loads of fans in a specific state? Does everyone go on your site during lunch hour? Playing around and observing is the best way to learn!