Archive for June, 2013
One of the great debates among webmasters is the question of where a business should anchor its online marketing efforts. Obviously search engine optimization (SEO) is important. A site needs to be designed to be picked up by the search bots. But, even Google says content is king. That has given rise to content marketing, an idea couched in the belief that attracting visitors with relevant content is the way to go. Which one should be the cornerstone of your online marketing strategy?
The case for SEO
SEO is an absolute bedrock strategy. Even if you aim to focus on content marketing, a certain level of SEO work needs to be done to get a website off the ground. Bringing in visitors by way of search is the simplest way to attract new customers. The majority of new conversions on a website, whether it is a content site, an ecommerce site or a landing page site, are going to originate from search engines, especially Google.
SEO is about designing your website to ensure it has optimal appeal to the search bots. On-site SEO means integrating all your content with a structure on-page that ensures the bots will scan the site and index it well for certain keywords. Off-site SEO means link building with relevant sites to direct the bots to your site.
The case for content
In the last year, Google has been getting fuzzier on what it says about link building. Google has long been wary of its dependency on link structure and PageRank as the base signals that it uses to rank sites for search results. The problem is, from a mathematical standpoint, how do they quantify good content? Google has committed billions of dollars to solving that problem. Increasingly, the signs are that Google believes it has solved it.
Google has been changing its webmaster guidelines in recent months. It is now strongly emphasizing the idea of “content that users want to share” rather than “content that gets linked to.” Of course, many SEO firms are skeptical that Google is serious, rather than just trying to make the issue a bit foggier. Those SEO workers that take it seriously have been engaged in a small run on content brokerage websites since Google announced this.
At the end of the day, your content is Google’s product. It behooves Google to provide users the best content available. That means that whether or not Google can ever quite crack the nut of quality content, they are always going to keep trying.
Likewise, there is a lot more to online marketing now than just search. Social media matters a lot more now. Getting some link love from a couple major Twitter feeds can launch a website into the big time. Facebook likes are important, too. Instagram and Tumblr are rising. Social media is rapidly become a second pillar to support online marketers.
While this is probably long overdue, it also makes it much harder now to do online marketing. The days of keyword stuffing and link spamming are long over. Likes and retweets matter. Social media signals matter. Even within the old school search marketing and SEO niche, Google is doing its best to steer closer and closer to a system that judges content quality and appropriateness for a search, rather than just crass popularity via PageRank and link anchor tags.
This means that online marketers must adapt. SEO is far from dead. SEO with Orangesoda.com and other online marketing firms should be seen as a bedrock layer. On top of that bedrock of SEO is where your site’s foundation of content marketing belongs.
The key part to online reputation management is dealing with negative reviews. These comments and opinions are posted by customers who are not happy with your company or brand. Digging deeper, you may find that many of these reviews are probably being written by your ex-employees to vent their anger! These negative reviews hurt the brand or the company because internet users who check for your brand through search engines come across these reviews. They are influenced by these reviews into thinking negatively about your brand. So, the job of the online reputation management team is to flush out these reviews from search engines.
Like every initiative taken through search engines, removing negative reviews from the search results will take considerable time. It depends on how properly you are optimizing your website and other web links through appropriate keywords. The aim is that users must not come across the negative reviews through search results. Instead, you are going to provide them with positive content by flushing out the negative content with targeted SEO work. Optimize your website with a wide range of keywords so that searchers can never find those negative review web links. Use different keywords for the separate internal web pages of your website.
The next step is to inject fresh content into the SEO steam every single day! The content that you write must have a clever use of keywords to bypass the sentinels of Google. Your content must not spam but come across like informative articles and blog posts. The purpose of these write-ups is not limited to pushing down negative content in the SERP results. Readers must also find your content interesting to read. That way they will be hooked to what you want them to read rather than look around on their own. Give them quality content that reflects your brand in a positive light. You will achieve twin purposes without breaking into a sweat!
Diversification is another key ingredient to block out negative reviews from the search engine stream. You have to publish articles and blogs in a variety of platforms. You have to take part in forum discussions and comment on other blogs and websites. Make use of social bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious. Using the social media networks will also come in handy because search engines pay a lot of attention to these platforms. Use Stumble Upon as a tool to reach out to new users who are not part of your online consumer circle. The more you spread out your influence the better will be the chances of your brand grabbing all the search engine slots. There will hardly be any space for negative web links to surface!
Other than these steps, you can use the traditional and time-tested methods that bring in SEO results quicker. Use link building judiciously. As mentioned earlier, bagging all the top slots in the SERP results for your company or brand is an uphill task that will take more than its fair share of time. You have to keep working at it!
Author’s Bio: Clark Hogg has worked extensively in the reputation repair sector and is an avid blogger.
While most people instantly assume that pandas and penguins are some of the cutest animals on the face of the planet, those who work for search engine optimization companies – or are freelance search engine optimization specialists – have a tremendous amount of hate for those two words.
This has nothing to do with the animals themselves, but rather with the two major changes that Google made to its algorithm (the tool that decides how to rank websites in their search engine). The Panda and Penguin updates completely devastated millions and millions of websites all over the world because of their major and broad-based changes – and people are still trying to recover today.
Sadly, the truth of the matter is that this entire thing could have been avoided if only those search engine optimization companies had stuck to the straight and narrow rather than the ventured off into the world of black hat as SEO tactics – almost ruining it for everyone. If you’ve been looking for the best way to Panda and Penguin proof your website (while at the same time creating a force field to protect you from any new shifts and changes to the algorithm), then pay close attention to the following secrets.
Stick to the fundamentals of search engine optimization rather than jumping aboard the latest and greatest fads and hot tactics
The biggest problem that most as CEO services dealt with when Panda and Penguin were unleashed is that they had been relying too much on so-called latest and greatest techniques and tactics to boost their search engine rankings almost overnight, rather than spending the time to focus on fundamentals that would have been slightly slower – but wouldn’t have gotten them dumped into the Google sandbox the same way that these other tactics did.
While there is a very little attractive about the fundamentals of search engine optimization, the truth is that they work better than everything else out there – and will never put you in a compromising position. By all means sprinkle in some of the hot tactics and tools offered, but make sure that you have a bedrock of fundamentals to build from.
Focus on gaining as many as citations as you can
While back links used to be the search engine optimization tactic du jour, the truth of the matter is that citations have become much more powerful in the last few years. While you shouldn’t abandon back links entirely, you’ll want to try and make sure that you can influence people that refer to your website to add citations to their pages – made by reciprocating the favor. This is going to boost your vote of confidence, so to speak, when it comes to the Google search algorithm.
Always continue to add as many traffic sources as you possibly can
What your last SEO firm may or may not have already told you is that the landscape of search engine marketing and search engine optimization is changing faster and faster each and every single day. What works today to bring you to the top of Google may be exactly the specifics feature that dropped you to the bottom of the list tomorrow – and it’s almost impossible to anticipate exactly what kinds of changes are going to be enacted.
Just ask anyone who dealt with the Panda or Penguin changes in the last few years.
You’ll want to diversify your traffic sources just as quickly as humanly possible, building multiple streams of traffic that you can push to your website from a number of unique sources. This will allow you to weather any storm should one of those sources be eliminated entirely, keeping you safe from the business shutdown that so many others have had to deal with.
Author bio – Megan used to work for an SEO firm in the past, but has become a search engine optimization specialist on
her own. Helping new companies and old navigate the tremendous amount of changes that the search engine world has seen in the last few years, she’s been keeping her around to the ear when it comes to search engine news almost a round-the-clock.
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