On-Page SEO: The Essential Blogging Checklist

On-Page SEO- The Essential Blogging Checklist

When was the last time you’ve ran a check on your blog? Perhaps you’ve been so caught up with figuring out why nothing’s working that you’ve forgotten to evaluate whether certain elements are present in the first place.

For a lead generation blog to be effective, it must be firing on all cylinders. It’s not just about the quality of the content. It’s also about other technical aspects that help make your blog a complete package. That’s the essence of assessing and improving on-page SEO.

Now’s your chance to give your blog the ultimate test. OnlineMarketingInsitute.com offers this comprehensive checklist for lead generation blogging. Go over the list and see how your efforts fare:

Your page title is key. While the content itself is the most important element on the page, the title comes in a close second.

Use the meta description. The meta description is a block of text that offers a great opportunity to sell the page contents and alert users that this is what they were looking for.

Check the URL. Make sure the URL is relevant to the page and also correct (i.e., no spelling mistakes or inaccuracies).

Keywords in the content. You can make good content into great, highly effective content with the use of keywords. It’s important to make sure that they read like they are occurring organically in the text, otherwise the whole thing will feel clumsy.

High-level header tags. The H1 tag is a powerful tool, so don’t overuse it. Use one per page so you don’t confuse search engines (at the top preferably) and use it to describe exactly what your page is about.

The right images. Images must be used in the right format, such as JPEGs for higher quality images (save in Photoshop at less than 60 percent resolution to avoid slow page load times as a rule of the thumb), GIFs for those images with fewer colors, and PNG format for graphics.

Descriptive alt tags. Use alt tags to communicate to search engines what the image is about, which will help with your SEO. Make it descriptive, as this is what will pop up if the image does not load.

Blog categories. Chronologically ordered blog archives give nothing to a user and don’t encourage browsing. Using blog categories instead helps the reader find what she is looking for more quickly.

Forge internal links. You can increase the effectiveness of your blog for your site as a whole by hyperlinking to other pages on your site that are relevant. Use keyword-rich, branded, and normal anchor text to do this.

Claim authorship. Claiming authorship of content and linking it to a Google+ account offers another degree of visibility and will make the effectiveness of that one piece of content stretch even further. In addition, author rank is predicted to become even more relevant as Google continues to understand the authority of each publisher.

Read the full post at Blogging: An On-Page SEO Checklist

 

Will Google’s NoFollow Link Policy Kill Your SEO? Not if you follow these tips

Will Google’s NoFollow Link Policy Kill Your SEO - Not if you follow these tips

At one point or another, marketing teams resort to using techniques that are generally frowned upon by the online community. It will probably take a long time until the marketing realm is totally rid of these so-called “black hat” strategies, but Google is determined in its crusade against stopping it once and for all.

One of these resolutions is the recent requirement of nofollow tags in links from other websites.

The modus operandi

One of the traditional, overused tactics in SEO is to try and get as many backlinks from authority websites as possible. This is because those websites regarded as having high PR can influence the “linkers” in terms of authority, thus boosting their chances of getting a high rank. This happens despite of Google’s insistence that PageRank be treated as the strongest factor in SERP rankings.

This activity also poses a dilemma for websites in their fear that Google may suspect them as a “link seller”. But now, Google requires links to include the rel=”nofollow” tag to stop passing on authority “credit” to other sites, and to thus avoid being penalized.

 So when do you need to use a nofollow link?

If your site supports paid links, you need to use nofollow in order to keep these links from giving credit to other sites. Also, if your site has a comment section that you don’t always monitor, using nofollow links prevents commenters from getting credit from you, as well as posting bad links that could hurt your SERP rankings. This also applies to content posts that other people may contribute on your business blog.

Nofollow is also helpful when embedding media (such as infographics) or widgets that you obtained from other sites. The thing is, you don’t want Google to think that you’re endorsing those sources, so you need to make sure credit is not passed on to them.

Obviously, you also wouldn’t want to boost the authority of your competitors, so you need to make sure you attach a nofollow tag when linking to a site that most probably belongs in the same industry as yours.

There is nothing to fear so long as you stick by the rules

Google’s intentions are, at the end of the day, for everyone’s welfare. It may be a hurdle to our current marketing situation, especially to those who have been accustomed to using their own strategies, but it’s healthier to compete in leveled field rather than allowing a few to get ahead by not following the rules.

Online Marketing 101: Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Online Marketing 101 - Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

1 – Name Your Brand

The first thing you should do is to consider what urls are available to you–then choose your brand name accordingly if you can. Be creative–do your research and see who else is using that name or anything similar. Be original, exciting and innovative when naming your brand— the same way you should be with your product.

2 – Tie Your Brand to the Domain Name
Your domain name should match your brand. Always choose one that doesn’t need explanation.

3 – Don’t choose a domain based just on keywords in the URL
Main keywords are not the key for high ranking in your domain name, although this is a factor. Think out a memorable, brand-related and available domain name, but don’t get obsessed with it. And keep it short and simple if you can, like JANE. One of the biggest problems with buying domain names is domain abuse. Existing backlinks in Google (“link:www.yoursite.com”) should always be checked beforehand (Wayback Machine is great to ensure clean domain names).

4 – Don’t Try to be Clever
Forget about hard-to-spell, long and clever words or anything too complex–unless you want to make it hard for people to remember your url. Do yourself a favor: dump the cutesy names and don’t use numbers–they won’t help. Best practice? A name with only one possible spelling.

5 – Extensions Matter (.com, .org, .net, etc.)
As of June 2013, there are 110 million .COM, 15 million .NET and 10 million .ORG domains on the web. Because most people still assume that .COM is the only possible choice, it’s the better option.

Un-complicate your SEO: A B2B Online Marketing Proposition for 2014


Un-complicate your SEO: A B2B Online Marketing Proposition for 2014

In the world of B2B online marketing and SEO, there’s only one thing that’s constant: change.

The industry is almost purely dependent on Google algorithms and its rapid alterations, and marketers couldn’t help but wonder if there’s any kind of strategy than can remain stable despite of the wobbly conditions of search marketing.

Apparently, such a strategy exists. Here are some of the things you could do to make your SEO campaigns as simplified as ever, making it resilient through time:

Take it easy on keyword research; focus on context instead. A considerable amount of time and effort could be allocated on putting too much magnitude on keywords. Besides, Google has already made clear that a keyword-driven campaign may have unfavorable consequences. Instead, meet with your team to come up with a reasonable number of keywords you can build your content around. Remember: it’s the relevance that counts.

Use SEO tools effectively. According to Eric Siu, CEO of San Francisco-based digital marketing agency Single Grain, marketers should look for SEO tools that’ll simplify the process. WordPress extensions such as Yoast SEO (free) or All-in-One SEO (free) make managing blog SEO a snap, while programs such as QuickSprout Tools (free; paid versions available) or Moz SEO ($99+ a month) help tackle other SEO processes from a single, centralized location.

Ride the viral waves. Instead of hunting for link sources everywhere, why not invest on viral content? These are your videos, slides and infographics that have much more share-potential than typical text-based content. These media-driven pieces sell themselves; they can earn you countless backlinks from credible sources without you having to scavenge them yourself.

Responsive website design cam help, too. Without a responsive website design on your site, you need to host two separate sites for desktop versus mobile visitors. This means you’ve got to run two separate SEO campaigns.

Overload of recurring tasks? Outsource them! In a typical SEO campaign, responsibilities would often include checking monthly SERP rankings, doing keyword research, and adding new page links to your website directory. These are rather humdrum – albeit necessary – tasks that you don’t have to submerge into. You can acquire outside help so you can delegate tasks more efficiently and also to give you time to check on other important things. Outsourcing to lead generation company can also open some doors to innovative technology and modern trends.

The Building Machine for Author Rank [INFOGRAPHIC]

What is Author rank? How does it work? 

As defined by Sam Applegate in What is Google Author rank, Google Authorship enables article writers to link their online content to their Google+ profile via rich snippets, which in turn enables Google to credit the authors with the content.

It basically means that when a blogger gains authorship, his/her content is recognized by Google as relevant and share-able so it does affect the SERP rank of the website.

So when you finally have your Google+ account connected to your blogs, what’s the next thing?

 

 

Google’s Hummingbird: What B2B Marketers Need to Know

Google’s Hummingbird - What B2B Marketers need to know

Another loud ring came from Google’s bell tower and spread anxiety among the villagers of online marketing. A new algorithm called “Hummingbird”, released on September 27, 2013, Google’s 15th birthday.

Okay, so what is it this time?

Google is leaning towards a revolutionary mechanism for their search engine services, making way to a more “conversational” approach in queries. It was reported that the web giant has been working on this technology since 2003, and its launch marked a significant milestone for both the company and its users.

What is Hummingbird?

This algorithm update is developed to return intelligent search results to queries that are conversational in nature, just like when a person asks another person in a complete sentence, rather than by just typing important keywords.

For instance, a user would traditionally type in the words “Eiffel” “Tower” and “photos” when searching for that subject. With Hummingbird, one can type in “Give me photos of Eiffel Tower” and would get more intelligent results.

It gets even better: After that previous search, you could type in “How tall is it?” and Google will give you the height of the Eiffel Tower even without including the name on the query. It will automatically understand “it” as referring to your previous search subject.

Why, and why now?

According to Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search at Google, their algorithm had to “go through some fundamental rethinking of how we are going to keep our results relevant“. Relevant, in this case, pertains to the rise of mobile devices. Hummingbird was developed primarily to cater the mobile search trend that is slated to conquer the next decade.

This is the first step towards that goal, and with Hummingbird’s ability to understand complex sentence queries, Google aims to “perfect” its voice-search capabilities as well. In the near future, users would just grab their smartphone and ask (as in literally, ask) Google whatever they want to search about.

Is it going to kill SEO?

Google itself said SEO marketers have nothing to worry about. As far as B2B lead generation and content marketing are concerned, high quality articles are still the key to searchability. Google maintains its preference over content that are more relevant and of high standard, and this change with the way queries are addressed is not a threat to SEO.

Not everybody is convinced, though, so we’ll see what happens. For now, keep those content pieces coming.

Redefining Lead Generation With SEO Marketing

 

Having a hard time generating qualified sales leads? That is to be expected. With the world economy still feeling the after-effects of the financial meltdown in the United States and Europe (and there is no denying that everyone still feels it), finding prospects can be pretty difficult at this point. Still, that is no reason to just sulk around, mope about your fate, or perhaps do a dozen other unproductive things in your office. Rather, this should be an opportunity for new lead generation tactics. That is where interest in search engine optimization (SEO)  marketing take off. And believe me, there are a lot of interested people here.

 

This form of marketing works by improving the standing a website, or group of websites, in internet search pages. This is a rather subtle operation, and results will definitely take longer than telemarketing, but it does present some interesting possibilities. Think of SEO as a form of support in the general marketing campaign. You have to admit that generating B2B leads using old channels is hard. Right now, sales is slow. But your priority is to keep your business visible in the internet. As long as you are there, it would be easy to promote your business to potential buyers. So how will you start on this?

 

  1. Remember to research your market well. Analyze what keywords they are most likely to use and incorporate that in your over-all SEO marketing campaign.
  2. In SEO marketing, your aim is to provide information, not to sell. The selling part can be done later. What is important is that you engage the interest of prospects, prove that you are an industry authority, and that you and your company can be relied on in the future.
  3. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are great mediums to engage prospects and customers in conversation. This will help increase your presence in the online community. Just keep in mind that your aim here is simply to have a conversation at this point.
  4. Try hosting a webinar or a video conference with interested prospects and attendees. This will help cement your reputation as an industry expert, as well as put an edge over your competitors. You will need the help of appointment setting specialists on this.
  5. Be active blogging and article contributions. In this way, you can promote your own business through other online channels. It would be a good boost to your reputation as well.

 

Once you have established your presence in the Internet, and search engine results appear to be favorable, then it is the time for you to engage in a more aggressive sales campaign. Seek your from your network interested prospects in the United Kingdom. Once they express willingness to talk business with you, now is the time for you to give them a telemarketing call. And it will be an easier job, since it will no longer be a cold call anymore.

 

Of course, if you have a hard time negotiating and doing business with prospects on the phone, it would be a good idea to work with a professional lead generation agency, then.

 

Top Three SEO Tactics To Avoid (Wait, Is SEO Still Relevant Anyway?)

Top Three SEO Tactics To Avoid (Wait, Is SEO Still Relevant Anyway?)

Search Engine optimization (SEO) was the buzzword of years long ago, like, 17 years ago. One might think that because it’s been around for so long everyone knows how to leverage it for their personal use and drive hordes of potential sales leads to their website. Although there have been a few successful stories, SEO is still a science of such fluid structure that even now marketers are having difficulty taming it.

When it first gained popularity, everyone who was anyone adopted it as an online marketing strategy. Then Google released the Panda update and everyone’s efforts went back to zero. Now that almighty Google is promoting value-rich content, has SEO become a thing of the distant past? With today’s digital marketing terrain, is SEO still optimal for promoting your website?

SEO is still very much relevant, although is has taken a considerable step backwards to make room for other digital marketing strategies such as social media, email and especially content marketing. Good SEO cannot exist without equally good content, as is highlighted by Google’s algorithm. Sales leads are driven towards your site by these relevant, well-researched, reliable and authentic content.

Whether you are still using these top 3 detrimental SEO tactics or plan to use them in the future – DON’T:

  1. Keyword Stuffing. The number one no-no for SEO and considered as spamming. Relevant content discusses topics using more than one word, so do yourself a favor and try to expand your own blogging vocabulary. Also, readers (i.e. sales leads) generally abandon a site the moment they read the same word used more than three times in a sentence.
  2. Reciprocal links and link farms. Almighty Google hates it. Period.
  3. Spreading articles through article marketing directories. These artificial link generating sites provide little benefit for your website. It’s much better to share your articles with topic-related websites that help promote your authority about your chosen keywords.

The moral of this story is that there is no holy grail for lead generation marketing. Each and every effective marketing strategy is the result of careful research and implementation where ROI is measured by carefully defined statistics. The main purpose of optimizing one’s website is  still sales leads generation, so whether your digital marketing makes use of this age-old marketing model, as long as it’s not broken and is doing its purpose, there is no need to abandon it just to join the current fad.

The Function of B2B Lead Generation

By: Markus Lundin

The need for a company to find business to business sales (B2B sales) has grown considerably with the abundance of contact and marketing information on the Internet. B2B lead generation is the process and steps to take in which you can market your business to another business whether through blogging, social networking sites like Twitter or FaceBook, and even modified press release coverage for blogging. With the diversity of the Internet any business not taking full advantage of what it has to offer should consider them self living in the dark ages.

B2B lead generation is taking flight and many businesses are getting on the bandwagon and making the most of this incredible idea. Twitter has been the talk of the town with creating new applications that are compatible with handheld devices such as the iPhone and setting new expectations in the name of social networking. Using join us” links and following people or businesses through Twitter has become a huge leader in B2B lead generation marketing.

Getting the word out not to just potential customers, but other businesses is a great way to expand your reach of business. If you are a manufacturer of computer parts than you can go to these social networking sites and create a good business to business marketing scheme. This is what technology is opening the door for and if you are reluctant to walk through it than you are only cheating yourself. No matter what side of the door you are on opening up communication between businesses can benefit every party involved. Not only can sites like Twitter or FaceBook spread your company name but it can link to invaluable information for businesses that are interested in what you are offering.

The power of blogging has become one of the greatest marketing strategies the Web has ever seen because this puts people in touch with people all over the world. Much like forums, blogs are creating new avenues of people meeting people and is the prime function of what B2B lead generation is all about. Creating a business lead in the new generation of networking from business to business and popularity that this is getting is unfathomable.

This is a fairly new interest in the world of Internet marketing but as the Web grows and reaches new plateaus so does the way we access it and manage it. The Internet has become such a valuable resource some companies are closing the doors to their physical stores and just taking up shop on the Web because of marketing strategies like SEO, B2B lead generation, and Google AdWords. The future is here and they are using the Internet in just about all walks of life in terms of reaching out to a broader spectrum of clientele. Getting on board now is only going to benefit you in the long run and make you more prepared for where this is all going. In terms of the Internet itself it’s still just a baby in a very large world that connects it through its nature. Utilizing and maximizing the full potential it has to offer will only make your business world a more fruitful and prosperous venture.

Search Engine Optimization is a Continuous Process

by: MindGeneis

Search Engine Optimization is a Continuous Process

Many of us must have heard the saying ‘Plan your work and work your plan’, and that the one who actually believes and works on it succeeds in the rat race of proving his or her worth. This certainly stands true for the corporate world which is continuously upgrading itself with the latest technology and where every organization faces new competition in every aspect of the business world. Marketing is an integral part of all these aspects. No business enterprise can survive without marketing and promotion of its products and services. The main reason for this promotion is the fact that ‘out of sight is out of mind’. This is why it is essential to maintain the visibility of the business enterprise in the eyes of the potential customers.

With the Internet coming up with new conveniences and benefits, both for customers and for business enterprises, it has become a perfect marketplace in the present-day scenario. Along with many benefits such as the potential to find customers worldwide, it also has many drawbacks to it. The challenge involved in online marketing is to combat the competitors from all over the world. The internet has meant that restrictions on geographical boundaries do not hold true anymore. This is where the visibility of the website comes into question. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process that rates the website based on various factors and delineates their rankings. Business organizations, therefore, have to recognize these factors that affect their rankings with search engines and make the required amendments in their websites accordingly. Once a website has achieved a higher ranking search engine marketing, one can say that the business organization is almost halfway through on the path of success. We can say that diverting traffic to a website by way of higher SEO ranking via search engine optimization is a key to reaching the zenith of success.

The better your research, the more improved your website’s ranking. The main aim of search engines is to satisfy Internet users by providing them the exact information that they were looking for. They want content that is not only relevant but also upgraded according to the latest developments. This is the reason why search engine optimization is also known to be an ongoing process. That is to say, providing the relevant information and achieving a higher ranking once is not enough. The website has to be continuously updated to maintain that high position with the search engines.

Related: How to Use SEO To Influence B2B Buyers On Social Media

 

Content and Keywords

The content of the website holds the most important position when it comes to improving search engine rankings. ‘Content is king’ is a phrase that each one of us, who is acquainted with the workings of SEO techniques, must have heard. This is primarily because this is the basic requirement of the user. The content should always be relevant and easily comprehensible. Plagiarized content is not required at all. Ensure that you do not stray from the topic or repeat points. The keywords that will be used should fit in well with the flow of the text. Enlighten Internet users with your knowledge and impress them with your interesting writing style and do not bother about the consequences after that. It is necessary to make the content rich in keywords. Though one should also be cautious not to exceed the ideal keyword density, otherwise it may draw the suspicion of spam towards the site and may lead to the site being banned. This is also why you should be careful when choosing a company that provides SEO services.

There is a need to conduct constant and extensive research to find the keywords that potential users are expected to submit in the search engines. The keywords chosen should be such that it best describes the crux of the entire website. Also, the keywords selected should draw fewer competitive website results, but it should not be so unique that a general user would not even think of that keyword while searching. Technically speaking, it is advisable to go for keywords that draw less than 5000 competitive websites but is searched at an average of 1000 times per month. Do not forget to incorporate the selected keyword in the header tag, keyword tag, title and in the description tag, including a few times in the actual content of the website.

Related: Happy Independence Day! Now Break Free from the Content Marketing Trap

 

Interlinking

Apart from the content and keywords, there are some other factors that greatly influence the rankings of a website on the search engines. Interlinking is a method of promotion that mentions the link of your website to the visitors of another site that has the same theme and vice versa. This could be a reference link for the users of that website. Uploading numerous articles related to the theme of the website is another standard component included in SEO techniques to enhance the rankings with search engines. These articles can also be submitted with famous article directories that will drive more traffic to the site as the hyperlink of the website can be mentioned in the resource box at the end of the article. At times, the sitemap of a website can also be of great help in achieving a higher ranking. As the sitemap lists all the content mentioned on the website, when the SEOs trace the required keyword on the sitemap, they simply index it with the search engines. This enhances the ranking of the website.

 

White and Black

However, there are many SEO consultants who claim to provide top rankings with search engines within a few days and they undoubtedly, prove themselves right in claiming that. But, one should remain alert not to be carried away by such claims as there are two techniques of SEO that give higher rankings – white hat and the black hat SEO techniques. While white hat makes use of ethical techniques, black hat employs unfair strategies to achieve the top position with the search engines in a matter of a few days. The latter technique is the one that is also employed by SEO services providers who claim a quick higher SEO ranking. For the long-term benefit, one should always look forward to white hat techniques to avoid any inconveniences such as spamming and other related things.

Related: Latest SEO Trends – A preview of how SEO changes

 

Takeaway

We can say that SEO serves a two-way purpose by providing the user with the required information, and business organizations their soaring profits.

 

 

Do you want more leads? Talk to an Expert!

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Mobile-First Indexing: What It Means for SEO and How to Prepare

Abusing SEO Techniques

There is no such thing as a perfectly optimized page or site. There are going to be instances where some SEO techniques are not viable because of the site’s construction or programming. Search engines don’t want the perfect SEO’d site — they are more interested in what pages best fit the search by the users.

If some of your page elements, such as your title tag and links, have the exact same text, your site could possibly be in trouble, because it looks like you are trying to manipulate the search engines. Not only do you have to consider your site’s elements, but you must also consider your inbound links as well. If all your inbound links have the exact same text, this may also look like you’re trying to inflate your link popularity. This can have an adverse effect on your search engine rankings and your overall search engine marketing campaign. To remedy this, try to mix things up a bit. It’s best to come up with different variations of your text and link text that you can use interchangeably.

There are also words you should try to avoid using in search engine optimization. Some of the words are very common words that are related to spam or just don’t have the weight they used to, which may make search engines feel that the content is not of the highest quality. Some of these words are Link Exchange, Add URL, Forums, Link Partners, etc. You should also try avoiding naming your pages with these words, e.g. links.html, forums.html, etc.

Natural Appearance
Overusing SEO techniques may also flag your site as spammy and may de-weight your site. Looking at it from a search engine’s perspective, if you are using every single technique in SEO, this can be detected because your site matches too closely to the quality marks. The goal in optimizing your site is to try and match the all the quality signs that search engines look for, but not to match them exactly.

It is best that you try to make your site appear as natural as possible rather than being optimized to the max, which it makes your site look unnatural. When creating and optimizing your site, whether you’re doing it in-house or hired SEO services, keep your users in mind. It is also helpful to ask yourself this question, “If I didn’t own the site, would I still visit it on a daily basis?”