Most Recent Posts

Some Helpful Ways to Get People to Share Your Blog Posts

Some Helpful Ways to Get People to Share Your Blog Posts

Beyond • March 27, 2013

Whether you’re blogging for fun or for profit, it can be more exciting to do whenever you can get others to share your blog posts. There are some clever blog marketing tactics you can use to make others more willing to share your posts, thereby increasing traffic to your website and potentially strengthening your overall SEO. Provide Quality Content Before people will become interested in sharing your blog, they will have to feel as though they are getting something useful from it themselves. The best way to ensure your readers are benefitting from your blog is to post fresh content on a regular basis. While you’re at it, it can be helpful to post a few words of wisdom in some of your blog posts. That way, others could be inspired to quote you, which could involve them linking to your post so that others could verify the source for themselves. Take Advantage of Social Networking Social networking can be one of the most beneficial ways to conduct blog marketing. When doing so, it’s important to build relationships on this network first rather than asking people to follow your blog right away. Your connections could end up feeling as though they are being spammed if they are asked to follow a blog shortly after accepting your friend request. Try to make useful and personal comments to others so they will become more interested in reading your blog, as they are more likely to share posts if they chose to read it rather than feeling obligated to do so. Encourage Others to Subscribe Readers are more likely to share your posts if they subscribe to your postings in some way. This could be as simple as having them sign up for RSS feeds or email newsletters. The key to getting new subscribers to your blog is to gently encourage them to do so by having widgets that are easy to locate on your blog’s home page. You could also place a call to action in some of your posts, but be careful not to do that everytime you post new material or you risk coming across as overly salesly. Enlist Help From Affiliates Affiliate or association marketing is a process whereby businesses pay other individuals a commission in exchange for them sending traffic to their website. These affiliates will post links to your website in an effort to drive traffic to it. One of the ways they might try to do this is by sharing your blog posts on their own website or social media pages. These affiliates could also use social voting sites such as Digg, Reddit, or Newsvine to help people become aware of your blog and increase the odds that they might visit it. When it comes to blog marketing, one of the best ways to be successful is to have others share your posts. You’re more likely to be successful if you engage in more than one of these blog marketing tactics to help you get the online attention you are looking for.


Read More
What Is the Difference Between Earned and Paid Traffic?

What Is the Difference Between Earned and Paid Traffic?

Beyond • March 21, 2013

In recent years, advertisers have had to readjust their marketing strategies to meet the demands of Internet-driven culture. These days, the primary aim of marketing teams is to transition from print to online promotion, in order to generate as much company website traffic as possible. This can be achieved via either paid or earned traffic, or through a combination of both. What follows is a discussion of the differences between these two methods. Definition of Paid Traffic Paid media is the more longstanding approach to generating website traffic. In this method, companies pay for ad spots on other websites or on television, just as they might pay to purchase space in a print publication. Some business owners and advertising teams favor paid media because it allows them to exert more control over their online identity and promotional material, though it is quickly becoming evident that paid traffic may not be enough for a business to keep up with the competition. Examples of Paid Traffic Paid traffic can be generated in a number of different ways. Companies can pay to have a web banner displayed on a related website, or they can offer to sponsor another business in order to gain increased media attention. Paid traffic can also be comprised of “pay-per-click” features on other websites, which are strategically placed advertisements that will take consumers directly to another company website. Definition of Earned Traffic Unlike paid traffic, earned traffic is less directly controlled by the business itself. It is web content produced by the consumer. Earned media can, of course, be stimulated by paid media, since a consumer might see a paid ad and then share information about a company via digital word of mouth. In large part, though, earned traffic remains out of the company’s hands. Examples of Earned Traffic The most effective forms of earned traffic include Facebook posts and Tweets, social media updates that have the power to reach a wide audience at a rapid pace. Blogs can also generate earned traffic, particularly if they include video feed or a frequent mention of a company’s name. Because these forms of advertisement appear less manipulated by corporations and are more personalized by the consumer, they are often considered to be a more valued or respected form of media promotion. Pros and Cons Paid media is the fastest way to generate site traffic and immediately reach a wide audience, though it does not guarantee customer loyalty. Earned traffic is a bit more difficult for companies to generate, and companies may need to conduct more research into the habits of their consumer base in order to establish a strong company/client relationship. When earned traffic is achieved, however, it can help a business “go viral” and can establish a loyal customer base more successfully than paid media. To maximize website traffic, it is nearly essential for companies to use a combination of both paid and earned media. A company (especially a start-up) may only be able to create paid traffic in the early stages of promotion, but once word begins to spread, earned media can serve as a lucrative complement to paid advertisements.


Read More
Why No SEO Campaign Should Ignore Social Media

Why No SEO Campaign Should Ignore Social Media

Beyond • March 13, 2013

In today’s online world, SEO and social media are inextricably linked. If you plan to have a successful SEO campaign for your online business, you need to fully utilize social media for the following reasons. Failure to do so may doom your marketing strategy to failure before it even gets started. An Active Way to Target an Audience Traditional SEO is a passive form of marketing where customers search for terms and then come to you for a product or service. Using social media SEO, you can take a more active role in pursuing customers. Your social media account forms a connection with customers that allows you to tell them what new items you have to offer that they will be interested in. Rather than relying on somebody checking back to your website or finding your search engine entry, you can create an active interest in your brand and have people looking at what you have to offer whenever they check their social media feed. Form a Personal Relationship with your Customers SEO and social media marketing both work well to get the word out about your products and services, but only social media gives you the chance to form a deeper personal connection with your customers. People see their social media feeds as a way of having conversations with people, be they individuals they know or companies they are interested in. By utilizing social media in your marketing campaign, you can make your products more than just another search result. You can interact with customers, show a human side to your company, and develop a very loyal following that you normally would not be able to get through any other means. Get Valuable Feedback Social media is also an excellent way to measure the effectiveness of your SEO campaign. While traditional SEO requires you to analyze charts, tables, and other data points that may be obscure or without context, social media provides you with real-time results and personalized feedback that can tell you immediately how you can strengthen your marketing campaign. Measuring tools are more granular, allowing you to determine not only the number of people who see your ads and status updates but also the number of people who took action on them, such as liking or retweeting a specific update. Social Media is Also SEO A common myth about social media compared to traditional SEO is that search engines won’t pick up ads and status updates on a social media network. That is true only in a technical sense. Thanks to the proliferation of blogs, your social media activity is more likely than ever to wind up reposted on a website that will register in search engines. If you maintain your SEO guidelines while posting and make sure to make your messages interesting and engaging, other people will help spread the word for you. The bottom line is that SEO and social media work together. The best marketing campaigns make use of both, and nobody who is looking to spread the word about a product or service should ignore the benefits that social media has to offer.


Read More
6 Reasons Why Your Website Does Not Convert

6 Reasons Why Your Website Does Not Convert

Beyond • March 6, 2013

There are any number of issues that may get in the way of successful website conversion such as a long load time or a design that is not particularly user-friendly. The internet is loaded with websites which users may easily browse. A boring website that lacks persuasive language and well-defined products and services will lose visitors moments after they access the site. The six biggest reasons websites do not convert well can be remedied with a little extra time and effort. Website is Visually Unappealing Website visitors will decide in just seconds whether or not to stay on a site based on the quality of the site’s design. Poor quality design tends to make websites unappealing to users and also gives the impression that the products or services represented on the site are of poor quality as well. Spending a little extra money to develop a professional looking website will help improve your website conversion so that you can sell more of your products and services. Title and Meta Description Need to be More Action-Oriented Effective conversion of a website is in part driven by a title and meta description that clearly defines the benefits users will get from visiting the site and purchasing the products or services. The language in both the title and meta description needs to liberally include action words. Descriptions like free offers, deep discounts, amazing returns on investment or money back guarantees tend to capture the attention of web surfers. Unengaging Copy on Landing Page If you do not grab your target audience’s attention in the first paragraph, they will leave the website. It is usually best to lead with the strongest benefit your business has to offer customers. Break up your copy with action-oriented subheads and keep paragraphs to 5 or 6 lines of engaging content. Choose keywords carefully and fit them in after the content is written for the best website conversion optimization. Target Audience is too Broad When the website is written for too broad of an audience, it may be unclear as to who will benefit from the products or services offered by the company. It is a much better idea to narrow the target audience as much as possible and write to them. For example, a dance school that has several former ballet company stars among their slate of instructors should capitalize on that fact rather than simply stating that they teach dance classes. Ineffective Calls to Action Calls to action should be powerful and should be at the end of every page for maximum website conversion. Do not assume that the reader will know what to do. Spell it out. Including a link at the end of each page along with instructions to follow the link and an explanation of the resulting benefit is an example of an effective call to action. Offers for a free sample or a discounted initial service are effective calls to action too because the benefits to the customer are clear. Inadequate Contact Information There is little more irritating for a reader than to want to contact a business or visit that business only to discover that the phone number and address are either virtually impossible to locate on the website or not even there at all. Do not forget to make contact information prominently displayed on each page of the website. Often users who have a question but cannot find a phone number on a website will just move on to the next site in the organic listings. Other reasons websites may not convert well include prices that are higher than what the market will bear or something as simple as poor photography that gives the user a bad impression of the company. Successful website developers put forth extra effort to avoid these pitfalls while still optimizing for search engines and leveraging social media.


Read More
5 B2B Content Marketing Ideas to Strengthen Your SEO Approach

5 B2B Content Marketing Ideas to Strengthen Your SEO Approach

Beyond • February 27, 2013

Business to business content marketing, more commonly known as B2B content marketing, involves advertising your company\'s products and services to other businesses or organizations that will, in turn, either resell them, use them in their marketing strategies or to support their business operations. B2B marketing, along with SEO (search engine optimization), have becoming driving forces in online marketing. Here are five ways to successfully combine the two. 1. White Papers White papers are excellent forms of online content marketing. They are written with great specificity and clarity, highlighting a particular product or service. Many of them are brief and to-the-point. They are also created to be eye-catching and to stand out. White papers can strengthen your SEO approach because of these very reasons. Unlike regular articles where your target readers may get bogged down in dry information, the brevity of white papers can help to grab tighter hold of their attention. The voice of expert authority that white papers are intended to be written in also helps you gain the readers\' trust and builds your reputation as a company. 2. Infographics Another great content marketing method is infographics. This form of advertising can best be defined as the visual or graphic representation of information or data. This is intended to get your point across very quickly, even when discussing more complex information. Infographics are seeing a rise in popularity and are very effective in strengthening your SEO. They tend to satisfy those who are too impatient to read through long articles and just want the important facts. The level of creativity needed to create them is also impressive. For these reasons, they are widely shared forms of B2B content on various social media sites. 3. Guest Blog Posts Doing guest blog posts is probably one of the best ways to improve your content marketing strategy. This is because it is one of the most blatant forms of cross-advertising and marketing between two different businesses. Showing an affiliation with another company, particularly a successful or popular one, can raise the profile of your own company. Guest blogging raises search rankings, which is the primary aim of SEO, as the people who visit the blog will inevitably become interested in what you have to offer. 4. eBook Downloading e-Books from your company gives potential clients another way to consume your company\'s information, wherever they are and whatever they happen to be doing. The convenience of this can lead to an increase in your site\'s traffic. 5. Video Series The fifth and final form of content marketing is creating a video series. Many people prefer learning about things through video, as hearing someone\'s voice gives them a feeling of connection to its content. By making a video series, you can reveal yourself to be personable and someone who enjoys true communication. This can influence all those who you wish to target, as that virtual connectedness can keep them coming back for more and raise your search ranking significantly. There are many more options for you to explore. Content marketing allows you enormous room for creativity and new, innovative ideas. B2B marketing is all about how effectively you can connect with your target audience. Implementing these methods will help you do so and improve your SEO approach.


Read More
What Are the Steps to a Robust Inbound Marketing Strategy?

What Are the Steps to a Robust Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Beyond • February 20, 2013

An inbound marketing strategy is designed to provide potential customers with useful advice, in an effort to gain their business. To accomplish this, business owners publish online content that will be found by potential customers when they search the internet for information about their problem. Here are the steps business owners can take to conduct this type of marketing successfully. Step 1: Identify a Specific Problem Facing Potential Customers A content-driven marketing campaign aimed at a general audience is sure to fail. There is simply too much information already available online that answers general questions. Because the advice is already available, search engines will not give much weight to new articles providing the same information. For example, a pet groomer would have little success publishing an article on “how to groom a dog” because so many articles on this topic have already been written. However, an article on “how to clip the toenails of a German Shepherd” would fare much better. Step 2: Brand Yourself as an Expert on Solving that Problem Once a business owner has identified specific advice needed by potential customers, it is important to convey expertise on that specific topic. This step is critical because it is rooted in the entire idea behind inbound marketing – to gain the trust of potential customers by displaying knowledge about their problem. Returning to the previous example, the pet groomer could build trust by explaining that in her 25 years as a groomer she has worked with hundreds of German Shepherds and routinely advises clients and veterinarians on how to care for their toenails. Step 3: Give Expert Advice through Online Content Learning to convey information as an expert is not enough. The next step is to begin a routine of publishing the advice on the internet. For many professionals and small business owners, this step is the most challenging, because it takes them away from their core business. And it is true, time spent writing a blog postor recording a YouTube video does not immediately impact revenue. But while the benefit of this form of marketing is gradual, it is also cumulative. Measurable success will result from a sustained effort of producing and publishing quality content. Step 4: Use Proper Keywords so Potential Customers Find Your Content To be found by potential customers, content must rank high in internet search results. Of the many techniques for improving search engine ranking, proper keyword usage is perhaps the most important. This involves determining the actual words that customers type into search engines, and using those exact terms in the content. Returning again to the example of a pet groomer, there are many words that mean hair cut (clip, trim, sheer, crop, etc.). The owner will need to research which terms are most often used by her customers, and use the same terms in her content. Many businesses have recognized the effectiveness of inbound marketing, and are implementing advertising strategies aimed at attracting customers with online content. But as with traditional marketing, not all strategies are equally effective. After following the proper steps and achieving successful results, it is important to continually measure, analyze and refine these techniques.


Read More
5 Things You Should Be Doing to Strengthen Your SEO

5 Things You Should Be Doing to Strengthen Your SEO

Beyond • February 13, 2013

Strengthening your SEO techniques is a key strategy for keeping readers coming to your blog or website. When people search for your topic of expertise, you want your website or blog to be in their top search results to maximize the chance that they will click on your web presence. Do these five things every day to improve your SEO techniques. 1) Education Continue your education of SEO by reading influential blogs and publications. Sign up for RSS feeds of SEO news sites so you can have fresh material to read everyday. Even reading a few blog posts every morning will give you a better understanding and insight into the search engine optimization industry. 2) Research Writing Topics You can see which topics are trending by visiting search engines to see what the top searches of the day have been. You can also set up Google alerts for important keywords to fully grasp all trending topics. Try to utilize current applicable content on your website each day. Everything should be updated on a weekly basis as a minimum. Find new articles and research that relate to your content and feature them as quick blog posts. For example, if your website is about dogs, search for news about dogs including scientific research, heartwarming stories or other headlines. You can even conduct new keyword research to use in your content in order to maximize the effectiveness of your writing efforts. 3) Consider Your Keywords Keywords are a very important part of your SEO internet marketing plan. Your titles, subtitles and site headings should all reflect relevant keywords. Make these keywords as specific and unique as possible to distinguish your content from other websites. Both inbound and outbound keyword links are an important part of your SEO internet marketing strategy. Use links that take readers to your domain name but different pages as well as links that are off-site. Use good anchor text that includes keywords. Avoid the phrase “click here” for a link, as it has no SEO value. 4) Skip the Duplicate Content Maybe you run a few blogs and you want to post the same content on all of them to save time and effort in keeping them updated. In terms of SEO techniques, this is a bad idea. When searches catch duplicate content like this, they divide the importance up between them, lowering their ranks in search engine results. It’s another good reason to avoid plagiarism as well. Make sure your content is 100% unique. 5) Utilize Social Marketing Engaging your audience in social media channels and bringing in traffic through other websites are good SEO techniques. You don’t need to spend hours every day to see some results. Your social media presence will be visible in Internet search results as well as search results within those media sites, so it’s important that you use strong keywords and unique content on your social networking pages, too. In addition to highlighting your site content, you might strengthen social media hits by posting other relevant news, photos or questions that are not on your website. Use this checklist each day as you manage your SEO techniques and soon it will be something you simply automatically do in terms of running your website. When you’re smart about SEO internet marketing and you put these concepts into action, you will see much more traffic coming to your business. The stronger your SEO efforts now, the more your efforts will pay off in the long run.


Read More
6 Reasons Why Your SEO Might Be Moving at a Snail’s Pace

6 Reasons Why Your SEO Might Be Moving at a Snail’s Pace

Beyond • March 23, 2011

If you are a company or an individual that has spent quite a bit of time and energy in the search engine optimization sector, you will agree that things really do take time to get rolling when it comes to website promotion. SEO return on investment involves tactical procedures and laser targeted implementation that not only will result in higher search engine rankings but increased overall branding and awareness in front of your target audience. Part of the problem often stems from bogus search marketing companies filled with incompetent sales people. These “sales people” often promise instant overnight success but eventually result in a jaded client (you) with a sour taste in their mouth for the SEO industry overall. There are a variety of reasons why instant success is not attainable immediately… Fierce Online Search Rivalry You have to comprehend that if your business or website is positioned in an industry that feels a lot like jumping into a pool of sharks, things are going to take a LOT longer to move in the right direction than you might think. Search engine rankings and overall website visibility is going to take longer if you are in a congested business industry. Remember: You are not the only website in the search space trying to get their name out there. Your competition could be simultaneously performing some of the same marketing activities you are every single day! No Onsite Optimization of Web Pages How do you know for sure if your website is completely optimized for search? If you hired a company or a professional and don\'t know what to look for yourself, there could be a chance that your site is optimized incorrectly. If you really want to know if your site is completely optimized, examine its every single aspect. Make sure that your meta info for each page is unique to the content that exists on that specific page. Take a look at the content and analyze the text to see if keywords are being utilized and hyperlinked properly. Efforts like image tag optimization and URL structures are also an important part of having a properly optimized website. Zero Social Media Interaction Capabilities There are many critics out there that think social media is completely separate from search engine optimization, but I tend to think differently. There is a tremendous amount of overlap between social media and search engine optimization. Oftentimes updates that occur on popular social media related websites appear directly in the search results. The search engines can see what you do, where you do it and when you use the social media tools. The search engines assume you are really focusing on branding and communication with your online audience. No Search Engine Marketing Diversity Marketing a business online requires a certain amount of diversity. The search engines don’t want to see you pouncing on one specific SEO effort but rather creating a multi-pronged approach that allows you to be visible in multiple corners of the search engine space. Online success requires a certain amount of diversity, whether a company likes it or not. It doesn’t matter what you do or sell - you will never find your entire online audience huddling in one corner. Being Impatient Everything online involves time and perseverance and if you rush the search engine marketing process you might just find yourself doing more harm to your brand than good. The search engines observe all incidences of online efforts being dispersed and they like to see a slower balanced evolution spread out over time to give things a more natural feel. By taking this approach, your marketing seems more organic than forced. Business owners oftentimes want to really push hard when it comes to online marketing and sometimes the search engines don’t like that. Take the time to make it look natural and then simply wait and be patient. Too Much SEO. Not Enough Quality. There is such a thing as completing too much SEO on a website. Too much SEO is when business owners try to distribute 1,000 articles a week or drop 500 blog comments on one day. It’s also visiting a website and seeing more hyperlinked keywords than actual readable text. Years ago, before the search engines evolved, distributing high amounts of online material was normal, but that is simply no longer the case. Online marketing is not a numbers game anymore and everything revolves around quality business marketing and branding. It’s not about quantity (too much of anything could lead to a disaster). So be patient, be diverse, know your competition and always take pride in your business.


Read More

8 Ways to Crush Your Website Rankings

Beyond • March 7, 2011

Web pages very seldom rank in the pages of search by conducting little to no marketing. If you are located in a busy vertical you are going to have to proactively market your business online through clean SEO/SEM efforts. It is important to understand that a unique strategy should always be taken when marketing a website online because the search engines are getting smarter and throwing the kitchen sink at them will not warrant the results that might have occurred years ago. Keep in mind that it is just as easy to lose your rankings once you climb your way to the top, so don’t make careless mistakes once you get to the party. Below are some important areas to address in order to preserve your rankings for the long haul. Don\'t Overstuff Your Website with Keywords It is very easy to acquire the spam bug when you market your website for the first time. You read all these things online that tell you keywords are the golden egg and you might think that more will help you. Do not make the assumption that more keywords crammed into your website will produce superior web rankings because it could very well backfire in your face. Keyword stuffing can actually cause you to drop in power and also obtain a search engine penalty - which is a lot like getting poison ivy, not fun at all. Too Much Javascript Search engines don’t mind javascript, but when you use too much of it on your site that is when things can go south. A header or possibly your website navigation is OK but make sure to come back with a robust amount of well written and optimized site content to counter the javascript. There have been many industry related arguments regarding javascript-focused websites but the reality is that if you want to stay safe and make sure your rankings do not disappear, keep the script on the site to a minimum. Using Frames Using frames on your site is a great way to make things go sour with your rankings. Search engines really have a hard time indexing sites that use frames properly so it is in your best interest to just stay away from this completely. Frequent Content Changes One thing you do not want to do is frequently change the content on your website. Search engines don’t like this. You must be able to allow your website pages to gather some maturity & power. If you are continuously altering your website content it will end up working against you. Minor alterations are perfectly acceptable but mass text revisions are advised against. Dirty External Links It is hard to measure when you might connect to another website that is linked up to a poor quality network of other links, but it is crucial to use your best professional judgment when you start to conduct your link building campaigns. If they even look like they might be part of a larger spammy type of link network, avoid the link at all costs. The link might sound nice now but it won’t be when you are dealing with a website penalty. Poor or Weak Meta Info I often bump into websites that are only utilizing 60 or 70 of the 160 potential characters for a meta tag description. From a user experience standpoint you could be missing out on an opportunity to explain your business message. And it also presents room for additional content connected with your website. I know there are many arguments that say meta data has no bearing on your rankings any longer but if you decided to go through and change them all I am pretty sure your website would bounce around a bit more than you would like. Duplicate Content Duplicate content can be your worst nightmare. Some websites fall prey to this without even knowing it, which is why it is important to fully understand what you are getting into when it comes down to website content. If you get lazy and want to spread a paragraph onto multiple pages of your website, I would think twice about that. Duplicate content can eventually trigger a website penalty that can lead to a nightmare you do not want to deal with. Changing Web Platforms This is a very common issue I see many websites get themselves into. Let’s say they have been utilizing an HTML based platform for the last 7 years and the site ranks very well. All of a sudden someone decides it is time to move to Wordpress because they like the functionality of the CMS system and they forget to place a 301 redirect on the old pages. Do you know what happens here? Your site falls off the face of the earth. If you are going to transition your website platform make sure you do it the right way or you might find yourself in a pickle.


Read More