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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Website

posted by Frank Buddenbrock 11:07 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Work ON It Wednesday- 15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your WebsiteThe World is on the Internet- you MUST be, too. That’s where they spend huge amounts of time communicating, entertaining, and searching. Take advantage of this checklist of 15 ideas to drive them to your website. Download your pdf of this checklist and keep it handy to keep you on track as you Work ON your business.

1. ADVERTISE!
Optimize your Paid search, social media advertising, and display advertising opportunities. Research to find which platform works best for your particular business/offer/niche. For some, Google AdWords is  best, for others, Facebook Ads drive the most targeted traffic. Ensure your website’s url is on EVERYTHING- from bus benches to matchbook covers to your company vehicles and all collateral materials.

2. USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Promote content through social media channels. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn. And be social. Here is where you build relationships and friendships and increase your engagement. Be sure to respond to and acknowledge comments and likes. Get the conversation going, and keep it going.

3. WRITE INTERESTING, COMPELLING HEADLINES/SUBJECT LINES
Without a compelling headline or email subject line, your content will never get read. Write several (10-20) headlines to find the most compelling. The only responsibility of a subject line is to get the recipient to open the email. Then it’s up to the email’s interesting copy and call to action to engage the visitor.

4. USE LONG-TAIL KEYWORD PHRASES
Long-tail keyword phrases make up the majority of web searches. These are THE terms your potential customer/client is actually typing into a search bar. Target those phrases in ALL your marketing materials. And positively make use of these phrases in your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts.

5. GUEST BLOGGING
Becoming an expert guest blogger on an authority website will boost your brand. Approach blog owners and offer to share your expertise with their tribe. This will not only build your celebrity, but will also improve your SEO efforts by increasing your internet footprint and providing valuable relevant back links.

6. INVITE OTHER EXPERTS TO GUEST BLOG ON YOUR WEBSITE
Your guest blogger will provide content for your website (that’s one less thing you’ll have to produce), and most likely promote their content on their own website, which could drive additional visitors to YOUR website. It’ll also increase your credibility and notoriety as you associate with a well-known expert.

7. POST CONTENT TO LINKEDIN
Posting content on LinkedIn will boost traffic to your site as well as improve your profile in your industry. Provide and/or share educational and interesting articles to build a growing list of interested readers.

8. INTERVIEW INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many people are willing to be interviewed- many of them will be flattered that you recognize their expertise. Publish the interview on your website/blog/social media property. Consider recording an audio version and making it a podcast in addition to the written version. Be sure to offer this content to your interviewee for their own distribution.

9. EMAIL MARKETING
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful methods to drive traffic to your website. And it’s one of the most economical- the ROI on a great email campaign could be HUGE. Be sure to develop an ongoing campaign- one-offs rarely have the impact necessary and will cause you to erroneously believe that email doesn’t work.

10. BUILD A COMMUNITY
People love to weigh in on subjects their feel strongly about. Building a community into your website is a great way to begin the conversation. Develop a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group, a monthly MeetUp or create a forum on your own website where discussions can take place. Again, ensure a constant flow of content and conversation.

11. JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Posting comments on relevant websites, forums, groups, etc. can help you make a name for yourself. Post relevant and quality comments. No selling here- use this opportunity to share your expertise.

12. SUBMIT YOUR CONTENT TO AGGREGATOR SITES
Distribute your content to aggregator websites (Reddit, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Tumblr) to increase your web footprint. Turns out, this is also a valuable SEO backlinking strategy.

13. PRODUCE QUALITY/RELEVANT VIDEO CONTENT
Video content is quickly, if it hasn’t already, becoming the king of content. Video has high retention and is an excellent way to grab your audience’s attention. You get to set the pace and the order in which the content is delivered so you have a lot of power here. When displayed on your website (often on your home page), not only is this a fantastic opportunity to describe your products and services, it’ll also increase the time your visitor stays on your site which is another factor Google considers in search engine rankings.

14. HOST YOUR OWN WEBINARS
Webinars are extremely effective vehicles to impart your wisdom to an eagerly waiting audience. Archive the webinar for future viewing, and promote it heavily to your email list, social media followers, blog readers, etc.

15. SPEAK AT CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS
Speaking at conferences is an excellent way to establish yourself as a thought leader and to gain significant exposure for your website. Find out from the event producer how they are marketing and promoting the event- discover how you can help. Produce something of value and let attendees know that they can obtain it by visiting your website. Develop a method to capture the email addresses of attendees and market to them post-event.


 

To be sure, there are many more methods to drive traffic to your website, but this list should help to get your creative marketing juices flowing. Here’s to wishing you tons of traffic.

Download your pdf of this checklist and keep it handy to keep you on track as you Work ON your business.

Comments Off on 15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Website

Now that most of us have our footing back after Penguin 2.0, what’s ahead for SEO and social media marketing in the year to come? It’s clear that Google’s focus is on eliminating spam and enhancing the user experience through better content. Evidence has shown that both site quality and link relevancy are going to be big players in the next twelve months. But comments from Google and forecasting from a number of different SEO experts suggest that other changes are on the horizon.

Here’s my best guess of where we can expect SEO to go for the rest of 2013 and throughout 2014 – and my top tips on how to prepare. Just to add a standard disclaimer: prediction posts are at best guesses. I’ll be updating this post periodically as more information becomes available, and look forward to your thoughts and insights as well.

1. Content continues to be important, but requires more depth and detail

The days when you could publish 500-word pieces on your blog a couple times a week and achieve authority status are fading away. While high quality, shorter pieces still have value, I predict we’ll see a migration toward “super articles.” Longer pieces that are a minimum of 1,000 words and more likely upwards of 2,000 will become increasingly valuable.

It’s what Neil Patel has called “epic content.” There’s several ways to approach this. If the best articles in your niche offer 50 ideas, your round-ups could offer 100. You could get access to experts, develop detailed tutorials, or supplement your content with high quality videos or images. The key is going to be to follow an approach that sets you apart from the most basic content in your space, and grabs people’s interest for the long-term. The focus is on depth, quality, and ultimate value to the reader.

2. Different kinds of content help you get traction

Whether you’re looking at creating video, developing infographics, or launching interactive quizzes, thinking beyond blog posts and free reports will give you a distinct advantage. As buzzwords like guest posting and content strategy become more and more ubiquitous, it’s important that you do whatever you can to rise above the noise. In addition to committing to do what it takes to write sticky, authoritative content, another strategy will be diversifying the type of content that you publish.

Of course, this connects to your ability to disseminate content in creative ways. There’s only so many ways to share a blog post. But a video can be syndicated to dozens of different sites, added to a branded channel on YouTube, embedded on Pinterest, and more.

Another important factor is your ability to appear in different verticals of search — for example, videos or images — as overall search architecture moves in that direction. A more diverse content base will help you rank more effectively for your target terms.

3. Author authority matters

It’s not just the quality of a single piece of content that matters, but rather your entire body of work. By using Google Authorship and other behind-the-scenes techniques, Google is developing better mechanisms for learning about everything you write. This develops an overall picture of what you’ve accomplished, and what subjects you’re qualified to speak on.

The overall number of social signals your content is generating, how frequently you’re posting, and the quality of sites you’re connected to, this will impact the rankings of the content that you post going forward. To establish your authority, make sure you’re leveraging Google Authorship not only with your regular core content, but also with guest posts that you contribute to other sites in your industry.

4. Links remain critical, but the bar for quality keeps going up

In a video in May, Matt Cutts suggested that Google’s continuing to develop more sophisticated adjustments to the algorithm to measure link quality and thwart link spammers. This evokes the idea of link wheels – creating networks of hub and spoke sites, along with many levels of intermediary sites, in order to build links. The idea is that if they’re dispersed and deep enough, that the connections between them will be masked. It a nutshell, these approaches aren’t effective anymore and will become less so moving forward.

While Google’s already focused on this, ever more sophisticated versions of this approach – from paid advertorials to private blog networks – will continue to be important targets in the war of spam. Not only will we all be taking a retrospective look at our link profiles, but strategizing how to build links in the future will require more ingenuity and planning. Link building is moving in the direction of a relationship-based process.

5. Diversifying link text is ongoing

One of the areas t hit by Penguin 2.0 was sites where anchor text was too optimized. Experts estimated that if more than 30% of your anchor text was identical, it was easy to see that you were actively building links in a way that might be manipulative. Instead, now and going forward, it’s more important to think about linking from an organic perspective.

For example, say your site is currently focused on the topic of Twitter marketing. People discussing your site and linking to it are likely to use a variety of terms: Twitter marketing, marketing on Twitter, Twitter for business, social media marketing on Twitter, and more. There are a number of terms that are all within the realm of a reasonable anchor text choice.

It’s important to develop campaigns that help you post links with a range of different anchor text. Diversifying your link text takes time, especially if you have a significant body of links to your site. I anticipate that we’ll see many website owners working on this in the year ahead.  For an overview on proper anchor text strategy in a post-Penguin 2.0 environment, see my article “How to Properly Include Links and Penguin-Safe Anchor Text in Your Guest Blogs.”

6. Great design matters

Great design is a key piece of the user experience. Top-quality design helps overcome the trust barrier that comes up when people first visit your site. If your site looks professional, they’re more likely to believe that your business is legitimate and give you the time and money you’re working hard to earn. Another key factor is driving conversions. Good design helps drive users in whatever direction you want them to go – signing up for your email list, buying your products, or reading and sharing your content.

Design is also a very effective tool for helping build both your authority and your epic content backlog. Is your picture on your website? Do people associate your name and face with high quality content? If so, you’re on the right track. Is design supporting the quality of your tutorials? You can instantly upgrade people’s perceptions of your work by integrating screen shots, videos, and more. It’s a simple way to increase the value of your content.

7. Guest posting comes under increasing scrutiny

One of the most popular means of building links right now is guest posting. It’s a great way to build links, cultivate relationships with other thinkers in your field, and get your material in front of new audiences. The challenge with guest posting is when it’s treated as the “new method of article marketing.” I think we can expect increasing scrutiny from Google on guest posts.

What this means for writers and website owners is that it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the sites where you post. PageRank and Domain authority are two metrics to measure quality. Another is to look and see if these sites have the kind of human signals that make a reputable site – an engaged audience, social shares, and links from other high quality sites. When you do guest post, it’ll be important to put an extra emphasis on developing valuable contributions that really resonate with the target audience.

8. Social continues to exert a powerful influence

Social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s gaining a great deal of traction. With the introduction of Google Plus two years ago, it was easy to see that social signals were becoming more important to search. As one expert said, “human rank is hard to game.” By increasing the influence of social media signals, the search engines are essentially outsourcing the manual evaluation process of content to a large extent.

For companies working to rank their content, it’ll be important to ensure they have branded accounts for their sites. Plugins or other mechanisms need to be used in order to make content easily sharable, and to measure social shares. Social media promotion needs to be a front-line priority in your individual content promotion plans, and overall innovative approaches (for example, experimenting with exclusive social content or competitions) used to increase your social reach and influence.

9. Mobile performance and compatibility matter

During an interview with Search Engine Journal, Matt Cutts noted the importance of having a lean mobile site that loaded quickly. Building on that, mobile is no longer optional. Half of all people in the U.S. own a smartphone; one third of internet users own a tablet. Soon, more people will routinely access the Internet via a mobile device than the number of people who do so via a desktop computer.

Having a mobile compatible site is the new minimum threshold. Important aspects include cross-device compatibility and optimizing your designs for mobile conversions. Thinking about mobile productively requires a mindset shift. Mobile isn’t just about making sales. Instead, it’s about a broader set of potential conversions – visits, gathering information for in-store visits, signing up for more information – that require you to focus on the mobile channel.

Besides mobile-ready design, website speed is becoming more important. As the average internet user expects faster speeds, they have less patience. Frustration over slow-loading websites leads to a poorer user experience, which is why website load speed is one of the growing factors in Google’s ranking algorithm. Cloud CDN (content delivery network) hosting solutions are seeing a rise in popularity due to this trend, and for good reason.

10. SEO is less tactics, more strategy

It’s fair to say that this has been the direction of SEO for a long time now, but it’s becoming increasingly true. Tactics – specific ways to build links or to write code – are becoming less and less valuable. Instead, the focus is shifting to your long-term strategy. What’s your content strategy? What’s your link building strategy? What’s your authority strategy? What’s your social strategy? These individual pieces all link together to create the foundation a successful site presence is built on.

It doesn’t mean that tactics don’t matter. After all, tactical moves are how you implement a strategy. Your choices between different kinds of tactics, such as white hat link building or black hat link building, can make all the difference. But if tactics aren’t driven by an overall strategy that’s implementing multiple approaches at the same time, they’re less likely to work. Approaches to SEO need to be cohesive.

Conclusion

I’m sure that there are critical trends that I’ve missed. I’d love to hear from you. What’s working for you right now, and where are you focusing your efforts in the next year? Let me know in the comments below!

by 

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For the original article click here: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/10-seo-industry-trends-a-look-at-whats-ahead-for-seo-in-2013-2014/65157/

A good SEO strategy is the difference between your business easily being found online and getting lost in the noise of thousands of other businesses trying to stand out. With Google’s ever-changing algorithm, it can be difficult to know what’s effective here and now.

In 2013, success in SEO hinges on businesses putting together a robust combination strategy that brings together an integrated web of great content, credible links, and social signals. Each of these pieces supports the other, providing tremendous value to readers, building your authority and brand value, and distributing your content across new channels. Here are the highlights of what to think about in terms of each of the three pillars of great SEO.

3 Pillars of SEO

Content (Pillar #1): Make The Most of What’s On Your Pages

The first pillar of an effective SEO strategy is your onsite content and structure. From the way you organize your site to how you optimize your content, there are five key aspects that will ensure that your content is doing its job. A strong on-site SEO plan includes keyword research, content optimization, user experience, site design, and the presence of a blog with great content that’s updated frequently. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Keyword research: The foundation of your SEO strategy is keyword research. The concept is simple: you can only optimize your site once you know how your target market searches for the products/services you have to offer.Google’s Keyword Tool is designed to help advertisers in the Adwords Program target effective keywords for their paid advertisements. But it’s a free, robust tool that can be used by website owners that want to better understand the range of keywords people are using to get to their site. Try these three strategies to get started:

  1. Brainstorm a list of phrases related to your business, brand, products, industry, location, and customers. Once you’ve developed that list, enter each of these words into the Google Keyword Tool to see what related terms are recommended by Google. Google’s suggestions will greatly expand your keyword list. Pay attention to long-tail keywords (e.g. “apartments in West Hollywood near beach” vs. “Hollywood”). They’re easier to rank for and just as important as your major keywords.
  2. Enter your site URL into the website box in the Google Keyword Tool. It will scan your site, and come back with a list of recommended terms that you are currently ranking for or could target. Many of these suggested terms are will be great keywords for your site.
  3. Create a list of competitor sites and enter each of those URLs into the Keyword Tool. Your competitors may be ranking well for specific terms that you hadn’t thought about. While you never want to directly copy a competitors’ keyword strategy, it can often inform your approach and round out options you hadn’t thought of yet.

Keyword structure: Once you’ve developed a list of keywords, take the time to organize them. One simple way to do this is by taking a look at your website structure and mapping keywords to the major sections. For example, if you’re an SEO firm serving customers in New York and New Jersey, you might have pages with different options for travel rates for in-person meetings and other details by location. That way, when individuals are searching for “SEO Firm Manhattan” they’re likely to find your site. Knowing what sections of your site are targeting specific keywords and gearing your content optimization toward those goals will move your SEO efforts forward more quickly.

Content optimization: Once you’ve researched your keywords, you’ll need to optimize your content for those terms. Content optimization is not about stuffing keywords into every available opportunity or even meeting a specific formula of “keywords must appear X times per 500 words”. Instead, just remember to include your primary keyword is included in your article title and meta tags. Remember that each page (or unique URL) represents an individual piece of content that can be optimized for different, specific phrases and conversion goals.

User experience (UX): User experience is simply a way of encapsulating the question: when people visit your site, are they able to quickly and efficiently do what they want? For example, if they’re trying to make a purchase or find specific information, is it easy to locate the menu or complete the task? If the answer is no, it may be hurting your search rankings.

One easy way to figure out if your user experience needs to be improved is to look at your bounce rate on Google Analytics. A bounce is a visitor that leaves your site without visiting more than a single page. If a high percentage of people are bouncing from your site, you may be ranking for irrelevant terms or your site design may be too complicated. Ask yourself what people are trying to accomplish, and look at ways you can make that easier.

Initial things to look at are making sure your navigation is easy to use, that your site design is as clean and uncluttered as possible, and that big actions are highlighted in clear and effective ways. Consider hiring a professional UX designer to help you evaluate your site if you’re having trouble breaking through on this point. It’s possible to design your site in such a way that you not only achieve optimal SEO, but also optimal conversion rates.

Site design: Is your site design clean and professional? There’s an assumption, by both search engines and visitors, that a site that looks spammy is spammy. If you’re trying to build an authority site but are working on a highly out of date design, consider upgrading to a simple website on WordPress. WordPress is an easy to use content management system with many excellent designs (called templates) available for free. Premium templates range anywhere from $20 to a few hundred dollars, and allow you to specifically customize your site. Some of the best templates can compete with world-class designs.

Regularly updated blog: Since Google’s Freshness Update, there’s a ranking premium for sites that are regularly getting new content. The easiest way to do this is through the addition of a blog. By regularly adding articles that are valuable for your readers – from timely pieces that comment on trends and news to evergreen pieces like how-to’s or product reviews – you’ll build your authority and improve your search rankings.

Another benefit of regularly blogging is that it quickly builds the amount of content that you can rank for in the search engines. A well-developed strategycan help you target many of your keywords through ongoing blog development. Think of each blog post as another raffle ticket you throw in the hat for being listed in search engine results pages.

Inbound Links (Pillar #2): The Infrastructure of Connections

Links give Google one very important signal: another site or reader found material on your webpage valuable and relevant enough for them to link to it. The more links you get, the more valuable your content is deemed to be by search engines. More likes also builds trust and authority, causing your pages to rank higher, driving more traffic.

In the past, link building was a numbers game. Links came from simple tactics that included listing your site in a bunch of directories, linking to your site from comments on blogs, and other transactions that focused more on having someone dedicate the time to “link building” than actually focusing on creating value for readers.

Today, link building is still critically important, but there’s more pressure to build high quality links. Sites that you’re linking from need to be reputable and relevant to your industry. Here are some strategies to build links that also build your brand and authority in your niche.

Guest blogging: There’s an increased focus today on guest blogging as site owners look for organic ways to build links. Guest blogging is simple: you find and pitch an appropriate blog with an offer to write a post geared toward their audience. When you’re guest blogging, look for reputable blogs that are relevant to your industry and subject matter. Here’s an article that describes a step-by-step process for guest blogging.

Press release distribution: Press releases are another way to build links to your site and help build brand recognition for your business. There are two keys for effective press release distribution. The first is to find a newsworthy story to write about in your release, or to find a relevant hook in the broader news landscape. For example, if you are a coach for administrative assistants looking for new opportunities and its Administrative Professionals Day, your press release is more likely to be widely picked up.

This syndication effect will help you build inbound links. It may also lead to valuable news coverage with publications running your story or reporters asking you to act as a source. The second piece of leveraging press releases is to use an effective press release distribution service. It doesn’t have to cost you hundreds of dollars. In fact, many are free. But make sure that whatever you choose is active and reputable. A popular choice is PRWeb.

Repackaging existing content: Building links to your site doesn’t require an army of writers constantly developing new content (although it certainly doesn’t hurt!). Instead, look at your existing content and see how it can be repackaged across platforms and mediums. Do you have a great, data-driven blog post? That could be the foundation of a fantastic and highly viral infographic. A case study or white paper could be paired with some simple imagery and turned into video content for YouTube and Vimeo. A newsletter distributed by email could be turned into guest posts or social media content.

Leverage real world connections into links: Are you sponsoring local events in your community, such as little league groups or a networking event? Perhaps you’re speaking at a conference or doing pro-bono consulting for a non-profit? Do you belong to any professional associations, speakers organizations, or civic groups? Many of the above opportunities will come with the chance to list yourself on their website, along with a bio or company description and a website link. Sit down and do an audit of these options – especially ones you may already be a part of and not using effectively. Circle back and have your site listed where possible, and be on the lookout for these opportunities in the future.

Target high quality directories: Indiscriminately listing your site in every directory that you can find has little value. It’s fair to say that it can even backfire; it’s an old link building trick and one that Google frowns upon. Yet there are a number of directories out there that are valuable to your SEO strategy. Be on the lookout for three kinds of directories where it can be useful to list your site. The first is local directories; being listed can help you rank for location-based keywords. The second is niche or professional directories that are squarely focused on your industry. The third are established directories with sections that focus on your area of expertise. Use a tool like Yext.com to find out if you’re already listed in some key directories.

Social Media (Pillar #3): Making Friends, Engaging, and Sharing Content

There was a time when analysts wondered if social media would make SEO obsolete. In reality, social media has augmented and transformed the way that we think about SEO, without making the discipline itself go away. Today, social signals are having a direct impact on how sites are ranking in the SERPs. Here’s what you need to think about in making the most of social media.

Interact in social media channels: The best way to build some buzz on social media is to get out there and get connected. Remember to think about your social presence as a conversation. Share content that’s high value for your contacts, while also engaging with them. Engagement means sharing other people’s content, thanking people for retweets and shares, and joining people in discussions. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but ideally you should spend a few minutes a day focused on engagement.

Build your brand: Social media is a great medium to help build your brand. A branded social presence can help build word of mouth that gets you customers, mentions, and links. Think about branding your social presence in three key ways. Make sure that your profile names and descriptions are branded and link to your site. Ideally your username and URL for both sites should be linked to your business name. Ensure that the look and feel of your site carries through to your profile layouts and design. Finally, share professional content in your brand’s voice consistently. This doesn’t mean that you should never share personal details, but it does mean to evaluate all potential content through the lens of “is this appropriate for my customers and colleagues?”

Generate social signals by making content easy to share: Does every page on your site include buttons that make it easy to share your content? How about every post on your blog? Take the time to install a program such as ShareThisto allow readers to instantly share anything they enjoy. Focus on making sure that you’ve included the relevant networks – at a minimum, users should be able to share to Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

Have a platform strategy: “Be everywhere” is one approach to social media, but it’s rarely the most effective. Particularly if you’re trying to get traffic to your site and people to read and share your content. Instead, decide what platforms are going to be the most effective for you. The best strategy takes into account the social behaviors of your target customers. Are they video people? Facebook addicts? Spend your time online cultivating a following that generates social activity and connects to your business goals beyond SEO.

Think Google+: From a purely SEO perspective, it’s important to have a presence on Google+. Here’s why: Google has been explicit that social signals play a role in its algorithm. Twitter and Facebook matter some, but many of the search results from both networks are restricted. Therefore, the network that’s carries the most weight is Google +. Ensure that you have a profile that’s connected to your site, and spend time building your audience there. Share content, and make sure that a Google+ button is available for people to like and share your content.

Conclusion

The world of SEO is definitely complex, and in 2013 a simplistic legacy approach is no longer enough. Effective SEO requires managing different elements, ranging from your content and keywords to your social media and link building activities. But with a focus on these three pillars, you can create a foundation and structure that will support a high ranking site for a long time to come.

By Jayson DeMers

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For the original article click here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/05/23/the-3-pillars-of-seo-in-2013-content-links-and-social-media/

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