SEO

5 Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

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If you want to get the best results possible from blogging, the following list will help you avoid being tripped up by five common blogging mistakes:

Not Using Data

If you really want to get analytical about your blogging, you can use an A/B testing tool to see what elements of a post perform best. But even if you’re not at the point of wanting that much detail, you can still benefit from taking time to look at the data collected by a program like Google Analytics.

While there’s no specific way you have to use that data, one of the most common uses is to see which of your existing posts have the highest level of engagement. Once you know that information, you can use it to guide decisions about future posts you publish.

Only Writing for Your Own Blog

Since you probably want your content to reach as many targeted readers as possible, you don’t want to limit yourself to your existing audience. Instead, you can expand your efforts with strategies such as guest blogging. By occasionally publishing a post on a relevant blog, you can attract new readers who hadn’t previously read any of your content.

Relying on Stock Photos

Engagement and usability studies have confirmed that pictures can enhance the overall appeal that posts have for readers. However, that’s only the case if the pictures used are extremely relevant and generate some type of interest. If you’re only using really generic stock photos, you can actually hurt your blogging efforts.

Since pictures do take a little longer to load, if you’re not using great ones, people loading through slower connections — lsuch as a smartphone — may ultimately abandon your blog before the post has a chance to load.

Avoiding Any Type of Social Promotion

People use social media to discuss everything from alcohol rehab centers in Florida to sports games. Since it’s where people spend a large percentage of their online time, it’s definitely worth experimenting with Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter to see if they’re a good fit for promoting the content that you publish.

Ignoring Comments and Emails

Whether you’re a one-man operation or blog on behalf of a big company, one of the main goals of business blogging is to attract new customers. Since a reader who takes the time to leave a comment or send you an email is obviously interested in what you’re writing, be sure to capitalize on those opportunities.

While it can take some time to hit the right stride with your blog, as long as you stick with it and remember to put the above tips into action, you’ll begin seeing the results you want in less time than you likely expect.

photo credit: Mexicanwave via photopin cc

Who Says SEO is Dead?

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People have been talking about SEO for so long that you might have thought the backlash would kill it once and for all. It happens to every fad, right? But SEO isn’t a fad; it’s a business practice, and business practices take off because they work, not because they’re cool. If you’re hearing that SEO is dead, don’t believe it – completely.

There are simply too many websites, and too many people searching for them, to not optimize your blog or website for search engines. It is true that some people deride SEO because it could jeopardize their own industries or jobs. On the other hand, recent changes have changed the relevance of traditional SEO.

So does SEO matter or not? Let’s hear from both sides:

It May Be on Life Support…

The marketing world has been abuzz over a recent Forbes article, which expands on SEO consultant Adam Torkildson’s prediction that, thanks to Google’s efforts to reward content quality, SEO will be dead in two years. A few factors may be adding to this idea:

Social Media Growth: Web users rely more and more on their social networks to stay connected. Plus, social networks have done a better job of eliminating fake users than search engines. That means companies at least know their social audiences actually exist, and aren’t just fake accounts or robots.

Smarter Search Engines: Google and other search engines are updating their algorithms to differentiate between authentic content and pure link-building. This means a mediocre blog stuffed with keywords and links will rank far below content with relevant information.

New Focus on Quality: Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have made it much harder to achieve high rankings with black-hat SEO strategies. You now have a better chance of ranking high by producing quality content rather than using the usual shortcuts.

…But It’s Still Breathing

The problem with declaring SEO dead is that the term is so broad that no one tactic can truly represent it. Marketing didn’t die with the rise of social media, did it? So contrary to popular belief, there are a few signs that SEO is still alive.

Things Change: Like any other marketing practice, SEO changes and evolves along with the markets and technology. Maybe the old tactics don’t work as well as they used to, but a smart marketer will replace them with emerging practices.

Search Engines Still Matter: According to research, 80% of all search traffic on Google finds its way to organic searches. This shows two things. First, people still use search engines to find what they’re looking for. Second, search engines still produce quality results.

So Do Keywords: People looking for Lancaster social security lawyers could use generic terms like “lawyer” or “need help,” and end up with thousands of unrelated results. So keywords are still the best way to find the most relevant sites for your particular quest.

Once again, SEO seems to be the Elvis of marketing practices. Here’s the difference, though: where Elvis really is dead, SEO is not – at least not yet.\

photo credit: matt.searles via photopin cc

Search Exchange 2012

Internet Marketing Specialist, Jon Payne, discusses Old-School SEO, and how strategies have evolved…

This week, Charlotte, North Carolina is holding the biggest SEO event of the year! Well, biggest in the Queen City that is… Search Exchange 2012 started yesterday, and it’s been pretty great so far!

There’s a lot of buzz right now in the industry about ‘over-optimization‘. People are also referring to this as ‘negative seo‘. Basically, Google has decided to penalize websites that have unnatural back-link portfolios. These unnatural back-link portfolio’s are usually a result of lazy / sh*tty SEO. I’ll admit, I have done some ‘unnatural’ link-building in the past (blame ebasedEVOLUTION), but I understand why Google is making this change. It requires SEO’s to work harder, which costs businesses more money, therefore, only the best businesses will be able to manipulate the system (think of it as survival of the fittest).

This isn’t really that new, as the team at Ephricon has been anticipating this change for a couple months. Regardless, it has taken the industry by storm, and has been the hot topic at Search Exchange this year. I’ve also learned a couple new tricks, and there have been some interesting presentations. One guy talked about internet security, and explained how easy it is to pull up people’s social security cards, credit cards, pretty much anything you’ve ever looked-up! Didn’t really have anything to do with internet marketing, but thought that was a interesting topic for Search Exchange. It was pretty crazy.

Wil Reynolds kicked the conference off on Monday morning. He’s becoming a big name in the SEO-world (watch-out Rand), and he kept us all entertained. He even gave a few tips. Some were so simple, even obvious, but was something I’ve never thought about utilizing (using the Google ‘auto-complete’ for guest blog posts)… Clever stuff!

Here’s a tip I picked-up from the “Local SEO” presentation… start using schema.org, it really works!
Also, I believe our industry has now decided that Google+ Pages / Google Local / Google Places is utterly confusing, and Google has a long way to go in fixing their ‘local issues’…

One tool that kept popping-up is Screaming Frogs. We just started playing-around with this back at the office and are quickly becoming big fans. It’s a great way to identify small, significant SEO-issues on your website, in an extremely fast and organized manner! A couple presenters talked about this tool, and rumor has it, big-dawgs in the industry have taken noticed. RUMOR ALERT… is Raven Tools coming out with a similar tool in an upcoming roll-out? Sounds like a battle between the Ravens & Frogs!

What will tomorrow hold? We’ll see! Maybe see you there?!

Few SEO mistakes that might Affect your Website’s Ranking

If you intend to start your own online business, simply taking business courses won’t be of much help. You need to know certain crucial strategies for running your business over the Internet. In extremely competitive fields, possessing a well-designed website isn’t much useful unless you can certify that visitors will find it. Due to this reason, knowing how to use SEO or Search Engine Optimization is essential

Search engines such as Google took less than even ten years to become a vital part of people’s lives. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to find what you’re searching for without taking help of a search engine to locate the accurate sites. Yet, when you see the webmasters who toil so hard to give their sites an excellent rank on search engine results, a totally different story appears. Regrettably, there are few webmasters who take to dishonest ways that may negatively influence the way novices learn their own optimization skills. This leads them to a way that’s full of errors that might be easily evaded with a little understanding. Following are a few common SEO mistakes individuals make that could badly spoil their efforts.

Many individuals commit the mistake of waiting to apply SEO on their site rather than doing it without delay. Whether you’re establishing a new site or refurbishing the previous one, Search Engine Optimization shouldn’t be left out. Once you miss this vital part of your marketing plan, you are likely to lose a lot of traffic. Since you know that your website requires visitors, you’ll never argue whether or not to apply SEO. Each site requires traffic and no other way is as affective as motivating that traffic via the search engines. Always, avoid hurrying into something that you have never attempted before and conduct some solid research on the matter.

Never choose a bad content that has minimum relevance to your slot‘s keywords. It could seriously harm your SEO rankings. The content you select must be made to appeal to both your visitors and the search engines equally. Be careful while selecting your keyword otherwise your content might suffer. Your site might get higher rankings just by generating relevant, useful content. The ranking of a website is based on what’s most likely to appeal to their visitors. Thus, it’s sensible to choose a content that’s appealing to the visitors.

Big Changes in SEO … Is the world coming to an end?

It all started a couple days ago when a colleague sends along an email, telling me about how this company called iAcquire just got busted big-time by this lil search engine called Google. Now with all the updates with Penguin and Panda (and possibly a new animal being released on us soon), quite a few emails like this are passed around. To be honest, I didn’t even really read this one all the way through…

… Until all hell broke loose.

Turns out this other reputable SEO agency called iAcquire was doing some blogger outreach, and got a little too aggressive with one of their prospects. I’m not going to go into all the details, but if you’re curious, check out this crazy article that explains everything. Long story short, the blogger got annoyed with the guy from iAcquire, and busted their entire ‘paid-link-building-scheme’…

But was it really a scheme? It looked eerily similar to some things I’ve done in the past. Myself and my co-workers have put a large focus on abiding by Google’s Link-Building Guidelines (Google, I hope you see this to know that we’re one of the good guys!), but we were quite surprised to see Google’s retaliation, by completing banning them from their search results. Very rarely does this ever happen! It has caused quite the buzz in the SEO world…

So what was iAcquire doing? They were buying links, specifically asking bloggers to make them ‘do-follow’, offered compensation, and requested that the post did not say anywhere on there that it was ‘sponsored’. These are all big ‘no-no’s’ to Google.

Google’s also been busy on other fronts, keeping us on our toes. Specifically…
- De-indexing and reevaluating popular online ‘directories’
- Combining Google+ with Google Places (which I predicted back in October, and I’m glad they made this change, even though it’s going to be a little bit of a pain to update everything).

As many black-hat SEO’s are running in fear, I’m happy to see these changes. This will allow truly talented internet marketing specialists to really shine, and get more creative on strategies to create stronger online presence for their clients. I say bring it on Google……

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