A B2B Marketer’s Guide to Prim and Proper Link Building

A B2B Marketer's Guide to Prim and Proper Link-Building

If you have been following the news recently, professional hiring service Thumbtack has its reputation tested after Google sent an email singling out the company for subverting link building guidelines.

And of course, the charge has considerable impact over the site’s lead generation efforts.

What led to this is the SEO strategy Thumbtack employed to rank high in the search pages. Users were asked to link their Thumbtack profiles to their own websites in return for progress points that allow them better visibility in the site’s search engine.

For Google, this is a case of using unnatural links. It has made it clear that “buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” Until Thumbtack manages to implement the manual actions prescribed by Google, it will continue to suffer “a huge decline in Google referrals,ultimately impacting the leads that professionals in their network are receiving.”

Thumbtack President Jonathan Swanson has noted the company is currently working to reverse the penalty and get its SEO campaign back on track.

Thumbtack’s strategy was no doubt a clever means for directing traffic. But this issue certainly points to two important things about search marketing:

1). Google takes link-building seriously on account of its desire to make the web an equal playing field for big and small brands, and

2). if you opt to secure your brand’s reputation as well as its ability to generate new leads, you will have to play by its rules.

While Thumbtack has made the wise decision to act on Google’s manual remedies (in fact, it has already asked its users to delete or simply add a no follow tag on the links), it is important for other businesses to make sure the SEO tactics they use are legitimate – and of course, effective.


Social Content and SEO: A Curious yet Competent Combo

Related Post: Social Content and SEO: A Curious yet Competent Combo


Use LinkedIn status updates.

Regularly updating your brand’s status updates will certainly increase your chances of getting found by the right people. The best part about it is it’s entirely legal. Though, you will have to make sure your statuses are fashioned with relevant and engaging information.

Bonus tips: Update your LinkedIn Profile for a Better Lead Generation

Use Twitter lists.

More than just a social media tool, Twitter provides businesses with numerous opportunities to build links and also gain access to influencers.

Bonus tips: HOW TO: Use Twitter Lists

Get help from authority sites.

You can’t rely on content alone for traffic. At times, you may want to utilize directories enabling a good boost in authority. In his article for B2BMarketing.net, ROI Digital Marketing Director Mik Dunne says, Links from these authority domains will help to increase the authority of your domain and may also send referral traffic and leads to your site.”


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Search and Social: Integrating Two Giant B2B Marketing Channels

Search and Social

Social media and search engine optimization are both offspring of information technology evolution that had helped us develop many areas of our lives.  In the business world, they both revolutionized the context of B2B marketing by introducing new and efficient strategies.

Social networking has created a comprehensive virtual environment that allows people around the globe to converse. It revolutionized our involvement to the global trend.

Search engine optimization, on the other hand, is the method of creating intervention on the organic stream of data searches of search engines. The search results are ranked depending on what the engine considers as the most relevant based on the inputted keywords.

It is apparent how these two advancements, as individual units, have changed how businesses operate around the world. Now, imagine what they can do if we integrate their functions to work as one.

Today, branding became more dependent on social recommendation and web interactions to emphasize product visibility and integrity. Because of this, marketers’ focal points should be on increasing product presence, thru search engine optimization, and increasing product integrity, thru social media.

Social integrity affects search ranking

The search system algorithms of search engines are intervened by social interactions. The trends within the social networks affect the ranking of web contents in the search result listings.

Social has integrated search

Socials have built-in search function that uses same algorithms as search engines. This will provide digital marketers the opportunity to maximize the features of social media. For instance, YouTube, with more than one billion users, has the most used search function; SEO makes it easier for the users to view the videos they wanted.

Effective customer service

Customer satisfaction is the one of the highest form of marketing success. Twitter’s optimized auto-tagging of relevant tweets is just an example of combined search and social that improves customer service.

For example, whenever customers’ tweets that his internet is not working; twitter will filter these relevant tweets so that it can be auto-generated in the twitter feed of customer’s internet provider. Search and social approach is an effective way of connecting to the needs of every customer.

Better promotion

A Nielsen study shows that 67% and 43% of consumers will buy new products that are learned from active search and social media, respectively. In launching a product, making the potential customer understand the key features of that product is a big advantage. Marketers’ digital promotion should also be done outside of their websites using quality content that are made specifically for the target market of a certain product.

Doubled results

Companies that optimize the search and social features gets doubled results in lead generation, conversion rates, and click-based revenue. Moreover, the combination of the two focuses on each channel separately, but the effect complements each other.

The search and social approach in modern marketing is a combination of proven schemes; this makes the integrity of the approach indisputable in crafting an edge on modern marketing. Marketers should grab this opportunity to dominate the harsh market competition.




If you’re an SEO Marketer, Google+ should be your BFF

If you’re an SEO Marketer, Google+ should be your BFF

Google+ is a great platform for sharing content and making connections with relevant people in your industry. But this up and coming social media site is not only for content distribution and lead generation – it’s also one of the biggest SEO tools.

The mere fact that online marketers have been for years trying to crack the mystery of getting found on Google is already a plus point for its brainchild that is Google+. An optimized Google+ page can do wonders for your SEO.

This excerpt from OnlineMarketingInstitute.com tells us how exactly Google+ can improve your search marketing efforts:

1.  Your pages can rank well in search. Having a claimed and optimized profile on Google+, along with updated content, can help your business get discovered on the search engine results page. In addition, your optimized Google+ Local page can perform well in local search.

2. Google+ drives personalized map results. As users search Google Maps, add places to their “favorites,” and leave reviews, Google Maps will start to suggest similar or complimentary local businesses they might enjoy. This means the more active you are on Google+ as a business, the more opportunities you have to influence local search results by boosting positive fan engagement.

3. Social signals may impact your website’s visibility. While there is no definitive proof that social signals like +1s can do anything to boost your page or your website’s visibility on search engines, some studies have noticed a correlation between these signals and your site’s position on the search engine results page. That’s because these virtual “props” on your social media content can tell Google that your content is relevant and authoritative.

4. Positive reviews help you stand out. Reviews for your business on your linked Google+ and Google+ Local page are extremely valuable because they appear along with your map listing on the search results page. But, nobody wants one-star reviews prominently feature on their web presence. So, ask happy customers to leave you positive, thoughtful reviews to make sure consumers new to your business see great things about you and want to visit your website or contact you to do business.

5. Google authorship boosts your site relevance. Authorship is a feature of Google+ that lets you link content you publish on another domain directly to your personal Google+ profile. When you do this, your Google+ profile picture will appear directly next to content you have written in the search results, emphasizing your content and helping increase clicks to it. This is great for building your personal brand, which can help you build credibility for your business by establishing yourself as the expert in your field.

Read the full article at http://www.onlinemarketinginstitute.org/blog/2014/05/5-reasons-your-seo-strategy-needs-google/#sthash.4Kkn6S4W.dpuf

SEO for Beginners: How to Drive Traffic Right Off the Bat

SEO for Beginners - How to Drive Traffic Right Off the Bat

Momentum is very important in marketing online. Once you get that much-needed “spark” that could springboard your online activities, it’s pretty much about maintenance and analysis from then on. But how will marketers create that spark?

Digital marketing expert Prashant Puri offers tips on how to generate traffic early on in the SEO game.

From OnlineMarketingInsitute.com:

#1: Build SEO accessible sites – from the beginning

This is a common pitfall for a number of start-ups because the site wasn’t developed with SEO in mind. The homepage is hosted on subfolders (e.g., xyz.com/content/main/home), the URLs are non-SEO friendly (e.g., xyz.com/content/node96?param=keyword) and there are a host of duplicate content issues. Building an accessible site is the foundation of great SEO.

Source: SEOMoz

#2: Deciding with data to drive ROI

Getting an analytics platform and Google Webmaster in place and keeping a close eye on key performance indicators is critical to growing your startup efficiently. Here are a couple of key performance indicators that I would recommend all marketers track (at least) on a monthly basis:

1. SEO visits: non-branded, branded and “not provided”

  • Branded: Keywords that contain your brand name.
  • Non-Branded: Everything else.
  • Not Provided: The notoriously cryptic segment of keywords created to confuse marketers!
  • With Google encrypting all SEO data, it’s become tougher to analyze segments of traffic within analytics.

2. SEO average order value, conversion rate and eCPC

  • Tracking and comparing the above metric with other channels and marketing programs is imperative in making decisions around which campaigns are driving a higher ROI and which aren’t. This helps you decide the areas where you should be doubling down!
  • It’s important to get a comparative view of PPC vs. SEO eCPCs to understand which channels are working best for you and drive the highest ROI.

3. SEO number of landing pages driving traffic

  • This is an important post-SEO project indicator of how well the projects are working for you. Keeping a track on these metrics helps analyze if your deeper pages are being indexed, ranked and driving traffic.

#3: Hire an Agency vs. In-House

All start ups face two common challenges: a) resource constraint and/or b) budget constraint. Due to these two challenges, it becomes difficult to set up a team that just concentrates on all the various elements of SEO – keyword research/data mining, content, platform architecture and link development. Hence, SEO often get de-prioritized.

Getting off the ground with the help of an SEO consultant or agency helps in getting that early start.

– See more at: SEO for Start-Ups: 3 Powerful Tips for Driving SEO Traffic Early On

Marketing Crash Course: What is Negative SEO (and How to Fight It)

Marketing Crash Course: What is Negative SEO (and How to Fight It)

Google has won. It has made life more difficult for SEO marketers, especially in terms of gunning for that coveted first page rank. Aside from the seemingly endless releases of new algorithms, Google has also made quality content as king.

As marketers scrimmage against the pressures of search marketing, they resort to strategy modifications and re-assessment of goals. Others, however, have found “other” ways to keep themselves in the game. These ways, although generally frowned upon by the online society, are becoming prevalent.

This is called “negative SEO”. What is it exactly, and how can you protect yourself from it?

Below is everything you need to know, from a post at KissMetrics.com:

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO refers to the practice of using black hat and unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s rankings in search engines. Negative SEO attacks can take a number of different forms:

  • Hacking your website
  • Building hundreds or thousands of spammy links to your website
  • Copying your content and distributing it all over the internet
  • Pointing links to your website using keywords like Viagra, poker online, and many others
  • Creating fake social profiles and ruining your reputation online
  • Removing the best backlinks your website has

How to Combat Negative SEO Against Your Website

If you notice that someone has started a negative SEO campaign against your company, here’s what you can do:

1. Create a List with the Backlinks You Should Remove

Check the links to your website that were recently created, and choose the bad ones, so you can try to remove them. Add tags to your bad links. Check these manually and decide which ones are hurting your rankings, and try to remove them.

2. Try to Remove the Bad Links

After identifying the backlinks you should remove, contact the webmaster of the website and request that your link be removed. If you can’t find any contact page, use Whois.com/whois to find a contact email address.

Add the root domain of the website you are trying to contact and look for “Registrant email.”

If your link is not removed and you don’t get an answer, either, you can contact the company that’s hosting the website and ask them to remove the spammy links. Most hosting companies will help you and remove the links.

Check who is hosting the website on WhoIsHostingThis.com.

3. Create a Disavow List

You can use the Google Disavow Tool if you have received a manual penalty. So, if none of the above methods worked, create a disavow list that you can later submit to Google Webmaster Tools.

Read the full post at How to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO

Tip for Marketers: How to start an SEO Strategy for Mobile

Tip for Marketers - How to start an SEO Strategy for Mobile

If your lead generation and SEO efforts are still desktop-based, you’re way behind the signs of times. Mobile usage is slowly but surely claiming the throne from consumer PCs, and the evidences just keep getting bigger.

People no longer have to boot their computers to do a query on Google; they can do that on their mobile devices. But tablets and smartphones are not limited to regular people – even business buyers are apparently part of the revolution. And for a Business-to-Business (B2B) marketer, you have to respond to that challenge.

Hence, SEO has crawled into the realms of mobile. Not everyone is on it yet, and most are just beginners. In his mobile marketing column at MarketingLand.com, Bryson Meunier, Director of Content Solutions at Resolution Media, shares 5 to-dos to help you initiate a mobile-based SEO campaign:

1. Read a Mobile Marketing Book

Books are only so helpful for a field that’s evolving so rapidly, as they can become outdated quickly. Still, there are some great published resources for those who want to get started in mobile search but don’t know where to start.

Google’s Mobile Playbook, by Jason Spero, is one of the best, and it has recently been updated for 2014. It contains best practices and case studies to inspire your own mobile marketing efforts, and a section for growing your organization to adapt to the new mobile reality.

2. Understand Your Mobile Searcher

The first thing many people do when doing mobile SEO is choose a mobile site configuration (i.e. responsive vs. adaptive vs. dedicated mobile site), but they should be figuring out what their users want first.

Get an edge on your competitors by understanding what mobile searchers who visit your site want, and give it to them with your content.

3. Secure Budget for Mobile SEO

The budget necessary to do mobile SEO depends entirely on the type of organization you have and the type of agency or consultant you’re looking to hire.

But if you’re looking to do mobile SEO, there’s only so much that you can do on your own with no budget. If you need approval to secure the budget, get it now before another banner year for mobile marketing passes you by.

4. Make Your Content Mobile According To That Mobile Searcher’s Needs

Once you understand your searcher, you’ll know which direction your mobile site configuration strategy should take. Have a blog, news or information site where your searchers are looking for information? Go responsive.

But if you decide based on understanding your searchers’ needs, you will not be able to make a mistake on this point.

5. Verify With Google Webmaster Tools & Run Mobile Crawl Errors Report

Whether your mobile site is a dedicated URL, adaptive or a responsive site, you must verify with Google Webmaster Tools and run the mobile (smartphone and feature phone) crawl errors report.

Smartphone Crawl Errors Report in Google Webmaster Tools gives you errors Google sees that are frustrating mobile searchers. Regardless of whether you have a mobile site, use the report to identify those errors that make the mobile user experience so terrible. Fix them regularly and you’ll be a lot better off in mobile search than those people who claim the best mobile SEO strategy is not to have a strategy.