Is Fear-Based SEO Paralyzing You?

Is Fear-Based SEO Paralyzing You?

In recent years staying afloat online has become increasingly stressful. Pleasing Google is almost impossible with ongoing changes and penalties on every corner.

Are you chasing algorithms and trying to make Google happy?

Fear-based SEO is paralyzing. What can you do instead to optimize and promote your business? Examples.

 

Link building of the past

For many years link building has been the most important ongoing SEO practice. Sure, you would fix onsite issues and ideally improve the site itself and add content regularly but the main SEO task was to acquire editorial links from third parties in the case of high quality SEO.

In the case of low quality SEO it was artificially inflating your link popularity with manually built links or worse automated link farms.

The latter practice was in fact so easy and successful that even quality professionals like myself often felt the pressure to compete with guaranteed 10 or 100 links per month link farming businesses.

Luckily the days when even webmasters fairly new to SEO could “game Google” with ease are over

and the demand for creative techniques to earn authority links is on the rise. Sadly not only those pesky unethical webmasters are subject to Google updates and “unnatural link” penalties but basically all of us.

 

Google hurts good sites

Most people won’t probably admit it but Google also hurts legitimate sites. I have shown examples in the past and indeed I’m a good example myself. Both my own sites and client projects have been affected negatively with Google “manual actions” and cute animal named “updates”.

Nobody is safe. You can hide you can’t run. Google will get you whether you deserve it or not and your guilty until proven innocent in a bizarre confessional like process Kafka couldn’t imagined himself.

So trying to optimize your site for Google is more of an annoyance each day. Even in case you do everything right one day you might end up being labeled a spammer the next day. Thus increasingly Web professionals are looking for alternatives to the absurd cat and mouse game Google plays with our livelihoods.

 

Precautions against Google interference

Can we reach people without Google interfering and standing in the way like the proverbial gatekeeper? Can we sleep without being haunted by nightmares of our business being smashed by a whim of an anonymous Google engineer over night?

You can set up CCTV cameras to protect yourself from burglars or robbers

but there is no way to protect yourself from the Google search traffic monopoly other than cutting out the middleman holding Web traffic hostage. It’s time to end the dark ages of fear, uncertainty and doubt and bringing power back to your own hands.

 

Audience building on independent venues

pinterest-tad-chef-720

Obviously Google is not solely about search. When you try to reach an audience online you will encounter many Google owned venues like YouTube, Google+ or even Gmail. Yes, Google even controls email marketing because of its overwhelming market share as an email provider.

On YouTube you create content for Google and your build an audience on rented space from Google. Reaching your subscribers on YouTube is still free but it won’t be forever. Just like Facebook YouTube has to monetize your content, audience and relationships.

So in case you want to stay independent for the Internet giant you do not only try to steer clear of their properties when audience building.

For example personally I invested a lot of time and effort over the years on socializing on Google+. For my specific kind of expertise (blogging, social media and search) it was a good place and as long as the future of Google seemed promising it seemed like a good idea. No that Google+ has a far lower priority on the Google agenda it’d ore complicated. Also my audience of 10+k on Google+ is very specific.

People follow me due to my authority on the above mentioned topics and because I share and curate high quality content dealing with those topics. They don’t care for my other interests though and wouldn’t share pictures of pretty birds (I tried to post them on Google+).

Thus I started building an audience on a more successful site, especially with mainstream audiences from scratch: Pinterest. I started using it privately, that is not dealing with my business topics or trying to cater to the same audience I have on Google+ or Twitter.

At first (after several months of daily activity) I had around a thousand of real followers who cared about my content no matter who I was.

Later on Pinterest put me on the suggested list for new users in Germany (where I live) although I don’t share for a specifically German audience. Now I have an audience of more than 50k on Pinterest, sadly mostly lurkers.

Nonetheless my Pinterest audience, the one I earned and built organically without the additional push by the site itself is faithful enough to follow and reshare (repin) my images on a regular basis. Some boards are more popular than others but that’s to be expected and also depends on my engagement.

The more regular I share high quality images the larger and more engaged the audience up to a certain level (unless you flood).

Recently a pin of mine had 500k impressions and several thousands of repins. It didn’t make a lot of business sense but it showed that there is a potential for viral effects too on Pinterest. Of course one day Pinterest might decide to sell my audience back to me just like Facebook does by now but as of now my audience building efforts led to a perceived independence from the Google silo.

Ideally you create a community and build an audience of your own

just like the Hubspot and Moz founders did with Inbound.org – you can even use third party tools for that, like Get Satisfaction feedback communities or simply by creating a forum. Even an informal blog community is an option by engaging with your blog readers in your comment section an don social media sites.

Relationship building with social CRM

nimble-crm-720

When you build an audience on social media sites or even within your own community you will notice fast that just a bunch of people are highly active while a minority will engage at all. The majority will be silent lurkers. This is perfectly normal.

It’s called the participation inequality and can be reduced to the so called 90-9-1 rule. 90% of your audience is passive and doesn’t engage, 9% is occasionally active by commenting or sharing and 1% really runs the show with most contributions being provided by them.

The 1% of hyperactive supporters are the people you need to care for and remember.

That’s where social CRM comes in handy. As a business owner you probably know what CRM or Customer Relationship Management is. Tools like Salesforce have been around for ages and are business standard by now. They help you to write down and remember who your customers are and how you can customize your offer to make theme even happier next time.

By knowing where your customers live, how old they are or whether they are female or male you can send them only the offers they would really need. For example you could offer someone living in the mountains hiking boots while someone living at the coast a surfboard. The logic is simple and effective.

Social CRM extends that kind of closer relationship building to people who aren’t your customers yet.

They may be your supporters or even so called brand evangelists. They may be relatives of your customers. In any case, these people like your business, brand or specific products. In case you blog already your supporters might simply like your content. Or they appreciate the content you share from other sources.

These people are sometimes much more valuable than your actual customers. Why? It’s simple. A brand evangelist who repeatedly shares your content, links to your site or simply tells her or his friends about your product can results in many more additional sales while a customer might just buy one item.

Social CRM tools like Nimble allow you to keep track of these people and their whereabouts online.

You can add their social media accounts along other contact data like mail or physical address. Even in case a social site turns overtly selfish like Facebook or goes down the drain like Google+ might any day you have still a lasting connection with the people who mater most online. Of course you don’t need to use Nimble.

You can use most average CRM tools by now, even the free ones like Zoho CRMand write down the addresses of your most ardent online supporters. It might seem like a tedious task but they won’t be that many. They might be a few dozens if your lucky or maybe around a 100 or two. You may have thousands of followers but your real online friends are far and in-between. So it’s not a numbers game here.

 

List building using trusted third party tools

mailchimp-720

This one might seem obvious and thus I didn’t want to add list building at the beginning so that my readers don’t think I’m just writing a “me too” post. Yes,email marketing is still a good way to build an audience. As mentioned above you have to fight Google the gatekeeper though as they will add your newsletter message to the “promotions” tab by default even in case you don’t promote anything.

One of the most successful link builders in modern SEO, Brian Dean is also a master list builder. I learn a lot from him. Even the sheer fact that he focuses so much on email marketing as an SEO shows you the importance of list building today despite or within SEO.

Personally I use the popular MailChimp email marketing webware but many people also use Aweber.

there is a plethora of advanced new tools simplifying and improving your email marketing these days. Many start-ups focus on mail messaging and modern web design feature an opt-in form as a central site element.

The days of annoying pop-ups are numbered in my opinion as UX designers adapt to the current need for independent connections with your audience. I have neglected email list building far too long because of the annoyance I associated with that type of marketing effort. You don’t have to push people anymore. Well design site can get mail subscribers without interrupting people browsing.

Dealing with Google, the bully

Google is like the typical bully, the more you like to please him the more power he wields over you. You won’t ever become as perfect as he wants so that he won’t ever stop picking on you. In school you could go home and your bruises would be tended by your parents and you still had something to eat.

With Google it’s worse. They will crush you completely taking away your ability to earn money

with your website by blocking search traffic to it for a myriad of often petty reasons. Then Google will demand that you buy your way back to online visibility.

Yes, you can easily become cynical about that or give up and wait until the likes of DuckDuckGo or Blekko finally bring some substantial competition back to the search market. Yet, you don’t have to wait for heaven after Google. You can strengthen your business by becoming less dependent on the gatekeeper controlling Internet search and increasingly other markets.

Ah, I almost forgot to mention: all these audience, relationship and list building efforts will help with your SEO as well, as these people are far more likely to link to you than strangers.

Ten Ideas to Improve Your Social Media Influence

Ten Ideas to Improve Your Social Media Influence

The best thing about social media is people listen to you because they want to. It could either mean they are interested in your products or services or they want to hear what you have to say. You are not forcing your messages on them, unlike adverts on television, radio or a newspaper. So the question now is how do you increase your social media followers and have meaningful engagements with them.

If you want to grow your influence, you will have to nurture your followers. One way to do it is by establishing yourself as an expert in your business. You do not have to be a social media professional to do this.

Note that social media influence is not a one-time thing. It is almost like growing a plant. Just like how a plant needs constant care and inputs like water, fertiliser, weeding and cutting, social media also needs constant care. It is a long process because social media influence can only be built over time. Here are some tried and tested tips to help you build your social media influence. Some of these tips are geared towards companies but most are generic and can be used by anyone to improve his or her social media influence.

Launch conversations

many different colored speech bubbles as a social network symbol

To add new followers and to keep old ones from leaving, you have to spend time to know people. It can be as simple as asking them how their day was. Note that to become popular on social media, you have to have followers. So start building your gang. Add friends, add your peers from the industry, add people who are interested in what you have to offer. Keep a blog. Comment on other people’s posts. Be accessible to your followers. Have real interactions with them and don’t just post what you did or are going to do.

Have contests, events and post news

Hands Holding Contest in the Sky

People have a natural tendency to reach out to others. Call it empathy if you will. They want to celebrate with you and get involved in what you do. You can reach out to them by holding contests, regular events. Encourage them to get involved. Share the latest developments at your company or in your life with them.

Use hashtags to build contacts

Hashtag Notification Concept

Keywords and hashtags have become a popular tool to reach out to people on social media sites. Take full advantage of these. Learn new ways of using them by observing how other people are using them. Just be discerning. You can and should post original content but do not forget that other people also have interesting things to share. You can curate some posts and share them on your page. But do not overload your followers with posts. Be creative but be careful about what you post.

Find something you are good at and promote it

Vector Promotion Concept - Flat Icon

Being a generalist is a good idea because it gives you the freedom to post everything and anything. But if you are running a niche business, you cannot afford to be a generalist. Find some specific topics that resonate with what you do and create posts on that. Become an expert on a subject and eventually people may come to trust you on that subject.

Keep an eye out for trends

Image of businesswoman looking in telescope standing atop of roc

Pay attention to what people are talking about. If you think you can contribute on that topic, do it. Having conversations on popular topics in your niche is a good way to reach out to people and add followers. Try using the Ahrefs Content Explorer tool, this will help you find the most shared content in your niche, easily and quickly.

Use social media measurement sites

Measure social media on black ruler

Don’t you want to know how your social media activities are panning out? One way to find out, is to sign up with social media measurement websites such as Klout or Kred. They are easy to use (there are instructions on their website) and once you have signed on, you will get good insights on what you are doing right and what is not working.

Ask your audience for specific inputs

Group of People Standing Holding Audience Letter

Have you just launched a new product or service? Do you want inputs on a specific issue? Why not ask your followers what they think? People are usually happy to share advice. The other benefit is, it will increase your engagement with your followers and add more people to your community.

Note high influencers in your posts

Influence Concept.

Image credit: sam2172 / BigStock

When you give compliments on posts written by others (on your wall) or just mention a high influencers name, some of their sheen will rub off on you. The way to do this on Twitter is by adding @ before the influencer’s name. On Facebook and Google+, you can add + in front of the name. It will also increase your social influence.

Nurture relationships with high influencers in your niche

Valentine Heart in Man and Woman Hands over Nature Green Sunny B

You are not the only one working in your niche. There will be others and some of them might be more influential than you. Try to nurture connections with these people and they may even mention you in their posts or share your content. Also another way to find influencers in your niche also use the Ahrefs Content Explorer tool to find what content is hot in your industry to who is writing it to what is content is working.

Connect offline and through other channels

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 13.52.32

Your conversations do not have to be limited to social media networks. How about conducting a podcast? You can also host chats on Google Hangout. There are many other ways to comment with people. You can also take part in radio interviews, post videos on YouTube and these will help you build your social media influence.

There are many more ways to increase your social media influence. Look at what other people are going right and try to adopt those techniques to improve your influence on social media.

Your Polluted URLs Stink: A Guide to Cleaning up the Mess

Your Polluted URLs Stink: A Guide to Cleaning up the Mess

Marketers love to add all kind of crap parameters to your Internet addresses (URLs). Especially

third party marketing tools like Buffer pollute your URLs

  • until they look really ugly
  • damage the user experience
  • and literally stink.

Why and how to clean up the mess others have left in the browser address bar.

 

O as in Optimization vs M as in Marketing – What’s the difference?

Over the years the difference between marketers and optimizers has been growing. While social media marketers (SMM) prefer to buy data on people from the likes of Facebook and then bombard them with personalized ads based on their private preferences social media optimizers (SMO) increasingly focused on supplying social media users with amazing content that enriches their lives and makes them happy.

Search Engine Optimizers craft and optimize pillar content so that it spreads far and wide and consequently earns a lot of incoming links through that engagement.

In contrast Search Engine Marketers (SEM) or PPC (Pay Per Click) marketers focus on buying Google Ads and counting the ROI (Return On Investment) of it by any means possible so they can prove their worth.

In many cases both roles have been performed by the same people many of whom are my friends. Recently there’s a growing conflict of interest between the two approaches though. One of the best ways to show that is how marketers damage the user experience and thwart social media as well as search engine optimization best practices of clean URLs.

 

Web dev best practices overthrown by marketers

For years it has been widely known among professionals ranging from web development to usability to information architecture that short, clean and self-explanatory file names and URLs are the way to go on the Web.

URL parameters have been a bane of the past stemming from the early days of clumsy content management systems that wouldn’t work without adding lots of cryptic digits and characters to clean Web addresses.

For

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • UX (User Experience)
  • IA (Information Architecture)

etc.

a URL like this is the best:

https://blog.ahrefs.com/url-clean-up/

It’s short clean, readable and contains keywords and most importantly tells you where you are (on the blog of Ahrefs.com, reading the clean URLs article).

Sadly automated social media marketing tools like Buffer will make something like that out of that URL without asking the blogger or website owner for permission:

https://blog.ahrefs.com/url-clean-up/?utm_content=buffer7d676&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Yes, they will just add more characters to your Internet address than it has originally. Also please note how they insert two ads into your URL advertising their own service (Buffer) through it.

Adding insult to injury they insert a whole website address, here Twitter.com

to it so that some people, especially only viewing the by now very long URL partially – might mistake their whereabouts. Why does the address bar say I’m on Twitter.com? I wanted to go to the Ahrefs blog!

 

Is adding something to unsuspecting webmasters’ URL really that harmful?

Of course I do exaggerate a bit. One or two of these things by itself wouldn’t do a lot of harm. Personally I love to tell people that I have send them visitors. So I sometimes add parameters like ?via=seo2.us/ebook to my outgoing links.

Note how I do something of value for those webmasters first (linking to them and sending them visitors) and only tell them about it by using one single parameter and a short URL in order not to mess up their original one too much.

You might argue that all of this is irrelevant as long as the Website is still found using such a “polluted” URL but even that isn’t as safe as you might think. Recently I witnessed the following scenario on a popular marketing blog:

visiting a blog post by using a Buffer polluted URL (with all those redundant parameters) I couldn’t see any content.

The page started with the comment section. So I tested the URL without the parameters and guess what happened? The blog article was visible. Could that be a mistake of my own?

I just assumed that it was only a temporary glitch and looked up the polluted URL version again, yet here there was still no content. I reported it to the author of the post (who only read it a few hours later and got angry at me because he couldn’t replicate it).

It might have been a glitch lasting an hour or two but you see what happens. Even an old school Internet user like I am starts wondering and looking at the strange address. Average users are even more likely to be confused.

 

Google doesn’t care for the people

Google’s growing disregard for SEO practitioners has also increasingly contributed to the URL mess. In their market leading Google Analytics software they make webmasters add random parameters without considering the side-effects of polluted URLs mentioned above.

With more than half of websites globally using GA this issue is only getting worse especially given the enormous pressure to prove the ROI of any marketing discipline and beyond. You can even measure the ROI of your mom by now. Just kidding, but it’s close.

Like Buffer Google wants to prove the value of its ads by showing their customers that and how many people have clicked them

while in reality half of them remain unseen not even to mention widespread clickfraud. Thus adding parameters which are useless from the user point of view but lucrative from the marketing point of view will be more common in future.

Unless you don’t care that you leave users confused (just think of such an URL in a message sent to somebody in plain text) you want to protect yourself against this type of URL hijacking.

For my own purposes I created a very simple JavaScript years ago. I even mentioned it here on Ahrefs a while ago in another context. I had to take it down because it was vulnerable to SPAM bot attacks on WordPress.

 

How to clean up parameter polluted URLs?

So after the recent case of a hidden content glitch by way of URL pollution I decided to search for a more sophisticated solution. I’ve found one albeit one that is not very popular yet. The post detailing has barely been noticed on the Web it seems. Yet, the issues affects billions of websites and should be addressed (no pun intended here).

In many cases website owners do not want to remove or clean up all parameters from their URLs.

Some of them might be useful or needed for their blog or site to work properly. On my personal site over at onreact.com I simply remove all parameters no matter what as I know that my site which I coded myself) works perfectly without them. I just cut them off and redirect to the clean URL again:

//Preventing URL spoofing and polluting
var url = location.href;
var p = url.indexOf("?");
if (p >= 1)
{
  url = url.slice(0,p);
  self.location.replace(url);
}

As mentioned above this will suffice for static sites that don’t use parameters but might backfire for WordPress users.

 

Tracking campaign and fixing URLs after the act

Assuming that you’re both a marketer and an optimizer as in reality most often the case (I’m a notable exception as I don’t sell ads) you do not want to cripple Google Analytics you probably use on your site as well.

You can also first track your campaign and then still fix your URLs.

This is what the following script by Jason Weathered and Henrik Nyh does. It adds a simple JavaScript function to your Google Analytics code to remove the unwanted parameters once they have been counted by GA:

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXX-X']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
_gaq.push(function() {
  var newPath = location.pathname + location.search.replace(/[?&]utm_[^?&]+/g, "").replace(/^&/, "?") + location.hash;
  if (history.replaceState) history.replaceState(null, '', newPath);
});


(function() {
  var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
  ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
  var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

 

Put it between the script-tags. This piece of code has been around in the wild since 2011/2013 (the updated version) so you can rest assured that it doesn’t do anything malicious.

You have to replace your original Google Analytics tracking code on your site/blog with the one above, of course changing the UA-XXXXX-X part to your actual account number over at Google Analytics. I use the script on my SEO 2.0 blog and it removes the parameters flawlessly.

Still Doing Guest Blogging? Keep These in Mind

Still Doing Guest Blogging? Keep These in Mind.

Guest Blogging is one of the most successful and yes, the common tactics that most SEOs prefer. Even though there are a lot of rumors regarding the death of guest blogging, still many consider it to be an effective SEO strategy.

 But is it really safe to practise guest blogging? Do we need to stop doing it to avoid being penalized in the future? The answer is simple. As long as you follow certain guidelines, you should not be worried about doing guest blogging for your Website.

 Let us assume that we have done guest blogging for a site, how could be Google determining whether it is a promoted post, what all factors may be Google considering when evaluating a link? Let us see below:

1. Blog Content

Never ever use a spin bot to rewrite a blog that is already published. Spinned content are easily identified by Google. There are others who rewrites an article that is already published and use it for guest blogging in another site. May be most of the plagiarism checker fail to detect them but Googlebot is very smart and efficient enough that they could even track synonyms. Google’s algorithm is getting smarter that they could even determine such rewritten content. So always write unique and informative content that are useful to the readers.

 Finding trending topic in the industry can be made easy with the help of tools like Keyword Tool or Google Trends. Let us choose Keyword Tool and type in the keyword to see the search trends for that keyword. See below the screenshot for the keyword “facebook cheat sheet”:

The keyword has huge search counts. We have one of our blog, Facebook cheat sheet: Image size and dimensions, that is published with respect to this keyword and is one among our top blogs that is getting numerous visits daily.

2. Links/Anchor text

Provide useful links to your readers and the link provided must be relevant to the content. You can place your link either in the article body or in the author bio. Avoid linking to home pages but link to other pages with resourceful content or to relevant blogs in your website.

Always provide anchor text in your article as if it do not look promotional. Never use exact match anchor text, which is one of the main factor Google considers while evaluating a link for spam. Along with your link, provide one or two links to other pages (of course to non-competing sites) that are useful for the readers. This also helps make our link look more genuine

3. Images, Videos, etc

Images and videos speaks out more than text and including them is one of the best way to enhance an article content. It also helps when your article content is weak. Adding such visual treats has the following benefits:

  • Provide more authority to the article
  • Increase chance for blog owners to accept
  • More users get attracted

Visual assets are an effective strategy when it comes to attracting readers. Here is an example from one of our blog, 10 Commandments of SEO, the effective visual treatment made it one of the best medium to drive in traffic and links. Several blog owners have used it as they find it worthy. Providing site name within the image helps in getting citations to our site. A reverse image search in Google will help us find out our image and we could request them for citation to our site:

Capture.JPGCapture1a.jpg

 Although it pays, videos are much more effective and White board friday is one of the most successful one we have seen. And further explanations are not at all necessary for them.

So adding visual treat drives in more traffic and social signals which in turn makes search engine evaluate the article to be informative and useful to the readers.

 4. Website

The quality of work you have done largely depend on the website you choose for attempting guest blogging. So finding the best site will be the most difficult and important thing when it comes to guest blogging. Here are some hidden techniques to find good guest blogging opportunities. Use these techniques to find opportunities considering the following criteria:

  • Ahrefs Domain Rank

For an initial analysis of a site, we can depend on its Ahrefs Domain Rank. Ahrefs site explorer can be used if you need a deeper analysis here.

→ Check if their backlink growth looks natural:

 → Check the locations from which they get backlinks from:

→ Check their anchor cloud for spam anchor texts:

 

→ Check if they have ever published duplicate content with the help of Near Duplicates.

→ And check their referring domains for any spammy domains. Ahrefs has made checking all these tasks simpler.

  • Engagement

Check out their published blogs for user comments and social shares they got for their blogs. The top content section in Ahrefs shows how well did their content got shared before. This is one of the best way to identify social activities in their site:

  • Avoid ‘newbies’

Most of the blogging sites that are ‘newbies’ accepts a lot of guest blogs and never attempt guest blogging in such sites.

  • Outbound Link Profile

Check for the site’s outbound links and if most of the outbound links have exact match anchor text, never proceed with that site. They are the ones who are most likely to be penalized by Google. Outbound links can be easily analysed using ahrefs here.

5. Social Signals

Social signals of the site we contact determine how well our article get exposure to their readers. So check out their social signals and confirm that they have got good set of followers. So that after getting our article published we could guarantee a minimum social signals to our article. An overall status of their social signals can be found from Ahrefs site explorer:

Google may not be depending social signals for ranking, but Google definitely depends on social signals for evaluating the significance of an article. So along with checking the site’s social signals, get your article promoted through social medias after getting it published.

An example for Google’s dependency on social medias can be clearly identified based on the latest news on their deal with Twitter.

 6. Create an Authoritative Author Profile

An authoritative author profile helps you in gaining trust from the blog owner whom you contact. So get some high quality articles published with your author name and build an authority to your author profile. This will help you maintain your relationship with the blog owners and will help you in future collaborations with them.

So publishing an article with a high authority author profile will give that much authority to your article too.

 7. Bonus

Yeah, I just want to make it seven 😉 but here is a tip: Even though Google has taken down authorship, the author rank still has its value. So contact authors who have a very good profile and are contributors to high quality sites and get your article published in their names. And this will benefit you in following ways:

  • It will help you to get the article published in high quality sites in which the author contributes to.
  • The article will be published with a good author rank which in turn will boost its visibility in searches.
  • The article will get more visibility to author’s followers

This technique is really helpful to those who do not have an authoritative author profile. I have tried out this and have published articles with the help such authors on sites like Examiner.com, etc.

Keep in mind all the seven points listed above and utilize the maximum out of this opportunity without the fear of getting penalized.

How to Identify the Right Content to Share on Social Media

How to Identify the Right Content to Share on Social Media

Content curation has emerged as a powerful way of generating relevant information for achieving better engagement with your social media audience. It is different from content marketing because curation is the process of discovering content relevant to your audience and sharing it in an organised way through your social media platforms.

Role of content curation in social media management

Content Marketing

Content curation is a part of your overall marketing strategy. It is not a separate aspect of branding, but ties well into your comprehensive marketing plan.

  • Content curation can help you provide better information through context. You can shares snippets from a post and add your ideas to it. You can also share it and present your own extensive views on the subject to establish yourself as an expert on certain topics.
  • Content curation helps you feed your audience’s curiosity through great content. It makes social media management easy as the content you can share with your audience is ready for you in the way you want to present it.
  • Content curation helps you use videos, images and text for variation on a single topic and you can also use themes to organize your content and present it to your audience.
  • Content curation adds another dimension to your social media marketing plans. It helps you flesh out your content strategy and expand it further. Now even if you do not have original content to share, you can curate information that sits well with your audience and generate the same buzz you expect when you share original information with them. The idea is the same – to engage with your audience and strengthen your social media marketing plans.

Content curation sounds simple. After all it is only about finding content for your audience that might be meaningful to them and sharing it with them. However, how do you identify relevant content from a sea of content on the web and share the same in an organised way?

Here are some ways to identify the right content to share on your social media platforms.

First identify your content marketing needs

Content Marketing

Posting content just for the sake of feeding something to your audience means missing the point of content marketing completely. If you know your audience’s tastes well, your job is half done. Whatever content you share on social media, it should meet these criteria:

  1. It must be relevant to your business/brand in some way.
  2. It must be meaningful to your audience in some way.
  3. It must be from a trusted source.

Now use these pointers to find the content on the web that can lead to greater audience engagement for you. The idea is to be specific and not posting content on social media haphazardly. Just because a story is interesting/funny/hilarious doesn’t necessarily make it right for your social accounts. Content curation requires as much diligent as creating original content to share on social media to engage with your audience or drive your business.

Know what you share

Share Sharing Social Media Networking Online Download Concept

When you are looking for quality content to share on social media don’t just go by the title or snippets and share it. Take your time to read through or at least glance through the entire text to know the tone and information presented in it. Or else you could post a story that seems relevant to your audience because of the title, but its context or focus could be entirely different.

Use content curation tools to find quality content

Content curation tools can make life easy for you by discovering and collecting the right content for you. Research the right content curation tool/s for you and use them to find the suitable content to share with your audience. Office Desk with Tools and Notes About Digital MarketingThese days many curation tools help find popular content on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Through them you can find great content on the same platform. However, just as it is important to post the right content, it is equally important to use the right tools to curate your content. Some common tools to find content with minimum amount of time are Google News, Facebook Trends and RSS. However, now many new content curation tools are available through which you can further simplify the task of content curation and gather more information about the stories you want to share.

Content Explorer by Ahrefs can help you find top-shared content related to any topic. It lists the news from top-ranked to low-ranked based on your keywords, mentions its source, and tells you the number of times it has been shared on popular social media platforms. Further, you can sort the list by date, also specify languages and include/exclude certain domain names. Using this tool is easy and you can identify popular topics based on your keywords or phrases and share the ones you find relevant on your social media accounts.

How To Get More Search Traffic by Spying on Your Clients’ Competitors

How To Get More Search Traffic by Spying on Your Clients’ Competitors

Sometimes, the key to boosting your clients’ search rankings isn’t about outsmarting the competition; it’s about imitating what they’re doing and doing it better.

A little spying on your clients’ competitors can give you a lot of actionable ideas on how to get more search traffic for your client.

1. Research The Inbound Links Of The Competition

By using tools like Site Explorer to analyze the competition’s inbound links, you can understand both their strategy and their audience.

For example:

  • Links from industry blogs. Your clients’ competitors might be boosting search rankings by guest posting on high-quality blogs or wooing influencers from these blogs. They might exchange free samples or even pay influencers for reviews and links to their pages.
  • Links from the media. Your clients’ competitors could be reaching out to people in the media as a link-building strategy. They might do this through direct PR outreach or through sites like HARO.com, which connect businesses with journalists.
  • Links from social sharing. If you see lots of inbound links from social networks, your clients’ competitors might be masters of social sharing.

Just put the domain name of your competitor into the Site Explorer and pick the “domain” option for the drop down menu:

This will give you an overview of that site’s link profile:

02-ahrefs-incoming-backlinks

If you then go to “INBOUND LINKS > Links” section, you’ll get the full list of links pointing to this domain and you’ll be able to export them for a more detailed look:

03-export-links-ahrefs

In addition to giving you insight into their link-building strategies, inbound links can tell you a lot about the competition’s audience.

If many links come from people in specific demographic categories, or if inbound recommendations cluster within a particular geographic area, it’s likely that your clients’ competitors are targeting those specific markets.

Click on some of these links, particularly reviews, and see what the audience says about your clients’ competition. If reviewers complain about the competition’s products, use the information to tweak your SEO strategy.

For example: if your client owns a restaurant, and reviewers complain that your client’s chief competitor doesn’t offer good seafood dishes, your client might gain some leverage by trying to rank for keyword phrases like “best seafood restaurant.”

Also, if the competition’s unhappy reviewers come from a specific geographic area, use local SEO tactics to target those customers.

2. Investigate Their Keywords

One of the best ways to improve SEO is to discover keywords that your clients’ competitors aren’t using.

Google’s Keyword Tool can tell you which keywords are most common and competitive, but it can’t give you keyword ideas that the competition hasn’t thought of yet.

To develop new ideas for keywords, try some of these online tools:

  • Q&A forums. The questions asked on forums, like Quora and Yahoo Answers, are the same questions people type into Google’s search field.
  • eHow and Wikihow. These “how to” sites are built around Google searches, such as “how to fix a leaky faucet.”
  • Google autocomplete. Start typing in a search related to your client’s business and see what suggested searches auto-generated by Google. Also, check the “Searches related to” section at the bottom of the search results page.

Browse competitors’ websites and read their content, recording the keyword phrases that they’re using in a notebook or spreadsheet.

If they’re low-competition keywords, incorporate them into your client’s content. If they’re highly competitive, look for different keyword ranking opportunities.

3. Spy on Their Social Media Pages

Social media shares by themselves don’t improve your client’s link profile. However, a link shared in a tweet could cause a blogger to write about your client’s content and link back to it. In that case, your client’s link profile does improve.

Also, if referrals and increased awareness from social media sends traffic to your client’s website, higher traffic and query volume will improve your client’s search rankings.

Take a look at what your clients’ competitors are doing with their social networks:

  • Analyze how they post. Review their posts, along with the content they share, to see what their audience likes most. If they’re using images with every shared link or capitalizing on certain hashtags to get their content shared, try mimicking those strategies.
  • Check out their followers. Find common characteristics within their audience, including demographics, occupation, location, and interests.
  • Note when they post. If your clients’ competitors get more engagement when they post at certain times of day, suggest that your clients change their posting schedule to boost sharing.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

Start with simple strategies that are just a little better than what your clients’ competitors are doing — better inbound links, better keywords, and better social media sharing. You’ll be surprised how much these small changes will boost your clients’ search engine referrals.

Removing Forum Signature Backlinks Led To Increase In Search Traffic

Case Study: Removing Forum Signature Backlinks Led To Increase In Search Traffic

A couple of months ago, I started receiving hundreds of unexpected dofollow backlinks from the profile signature of a forum I was participating to.

I did not really care until I decided to clean them up. I noticed a rise in search result impressions, as reported in Google Webmaster Tools.

Why You Should Watch Your Backlinks Closely

Last year, I was working on the development of an ethical content exchange platform called Ligatures.net. I decided to register to several SEO forums, hoping I could include a link in my profile signature here and there.

One of them was WebsiteBabble. So, I joined it and added a backlink to my site in my profile. I carried on participating to the forum and created a total of about 50 posts.

From time to time, I was checking my backlinks using both Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) and Ahrefs.

Once you have registered your website in GWT, a subset of links to your website is progressively displayed in the Search Traffic > Links To Your Site menu.

01-webmaster tools screenshot

GWT provides good feedback, but it does not provide as much statistics asAhrefs Site Explorer.

For example, it does not break down link counts into dofollow and nofollow. It does not provide a graph of the backlink count too.

Such information is available from Ahrefs simply by entering the URL of your website in the Site Explorer.

Within days, I noticed a huge increase in dofollow backlinks at Ahrefs:

02-ahrefs graph screenshot

From less than 50 backlinks, I reached 600 within 3 months, most of them coming from WebsiteBabble.

Surprisingly, GWT only reported less than a fifth of them.

I was a bit worried about such backlinks, but decided to deal with this issue later. I was also wondering whether I would get some benefits too.

GWT was reporting around 16 impressions per day then, which is a very low number. However, I did not expect more since my site did not have much content and since it was in a very competitive niche. I was still working on my platform.

Around mid-November, I posted a couple of articles on my site. I was expecting the number of impressions to rise, but nothing happened. I was wondering whether I was suffering from an algorithmic penalty since I there was no manual penalty in GWT.

I resorted to ask questions about forum profile backlinks in two SEO forums: V7N and WebsiteBabble. I received the following answers:

  • “If you encounter issues, remove some keywords from the signature;”
  • “If you only have forum backlinks, it can hurt your rankings;”
  • “We have more than 20 000 backlinks from forums and we are still ranking on top 3 positions;”
  • “There is no manual penalty for this, but your IP address may be blacklisted;”
  • “Forum signature links will be slaughtered with the next Penguin update;”
  • “If you get a link to your site from your lawful and honest participation in a web forum, you do not have anything to be concerned about, even if you use a custom anchor text.”

About the “forum signature links being slaughtered with the next Penguin update” comment – it did not happen.

But in my case, there was a significant volume of links created automatically in a short period of time. I did not stuff my signature with keywords and a large part of my links were coming from the same source (i.e., a big skew).

Google’s Policies On Forum Profile Backlinks

Here’s what Google says:

  • Forum profile links should not be optimized with keywords or they would be considered unnatural;
  • Creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of [their] guidelines;
  • Automatic link generation can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.

My links were created automatically and they were not editorially placed, but I had some control on it.

Yet, 600 links for 50 posts was obviously not a normal ratio. I could not find more official information and was left without clear-cut answers to my questions.

Removing Forum Signature Backlinks

In early December, I decided to remove my dofollow link from my WebsiteBabble profile.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to set a nofollow attribute, otherwise, I would have tried it. I used plain text instead.

The number of links reported in GWT and Ahrefs started to decline. I did not see any positive impact on impressions until the beginning of January. By the beginning of February, I noticed an average of about 30 impressions per day. I had reached a plateau.

image02

In the meantime, I had not modified the content of my website or performed any other actions that could have impacted this metric. An upward trend in search result impressions clearly began once search engines had removed about 60% of my profile signature backlinks.

Conclusions

In the Google Webmaster Help videos, John Muller has often repeated the following:

  • Google removes the value of unnatural links, they don’t pass PageRank;
  • In competitive niches, you need to show a lot of strong signals to beat existing competition;
  • Algorithms do not have metrics and signals for new websites, so they make early estimations;
  • Backlinks are taken into account to compute trust;
  • The ratio of good content versus bad content is influencing ranking;
  • Algorithms automatically pick up changes made on web pages;
  • A lot of positive signals can override a couple of negative signals.

Since my website was new and did not have much content and backlinks, it is very likely that algorithms did not really know whether they could trust my content or not.

In addition, getting hundreds of unnatural links from the same source surely did not help building trust. However, after I fixed this issue, algorithms changed their mind. It seems like first impressions matter, but they are not fatal.

Those who claim had 20 000 forum profile backlinks, while still ranking, could probably rank even better if they removed these. A lot of forum profile backlinks does have a negative impact.

How To Get More Search Traffic With Long Tail Keywords

How To Get More Search Traffic With Long Tail Keywords

One of the best ways to get traffic to your website without spending extra money is through keyword research.

More specifically, targeting the right “long tail keywords” with your content can make all the difference when it comes to the amount of traffic you get from the search engines.

Not sure exactly what that means?

No problem.

Here is a practical guide to how keyword research can bring you more free (organic) traffic than you’ve thought possible.

Keyword Research Basics

Let’s briefly set the stage for this topic. When we talk about a “keyword” we are talking about any search term that gets searched in Google (or another search engine.)

Some keywords get searched all the time. For example “how to lose weight” is searched about 110,000 times per month in the US according to Google’s Keyword Planner.

On the flip side, on any given day 15% of Google searches are things that have never been searched before. That’s about 500 million searches per day that are brand new to Google.

Somewhere in between these super competitive keywords and these very obscure, never-before-searched keywords are what we call “long tail keywords.”

Long Tail Keywords Explained

Long tail keywords tend to be more specific searches that are typically searched less often, by people who are about to make a buying decision.

In our earlier example, “how to lose weight” is not a long tail keyword. However, as that person learns more about their weight loss options and becomes more informed, they will often start searching for more detailed, specific things about weight loss.

Perhaps they’ll search for things like:

  • “does P90X work?”
  • “low carb diet grocery list”
  • “lose weight without running”

These are examples of long tail keywords. What we’ve found is that by targeting the right long tail keywords on your website, you can start increasing traffic and more importantly, draw in people who are very targeted for your business.

How To Get Traffic With Long Tail Keywords

Once you’ve setup your website, you need to start adding content such as new pages and blog posts to your site.

But the question is “posts about what?”

This is where keyword research and focusing on the right long tail keywords comes into play. If you’re just starting a site in the nutrition space, your chances of ranking on page 1 of Google for “how to lose weight” are similar to your odds of winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

Unfortunately this is where a lot of new site owners mess up. They see that this phrase gets searched 110,000 times per month and think that’s what they should focus on.

The better approach is to focus on ranking a bunch of pages for related long tail keywords that may only get searched 5,000, 500, or even 50 times per month.

Here is how you can start:

Check The Keywords That Your Competitors Rank For

Before we talk about brainstorming keyword ideas on your own, why not start with what is already working for sites similar to yours?

One of the beautiful things about tools like Ahrefs is the ability to do a little spying on your competition.

Sticking to our nutrition example, find another health site that you’d consider “competition” or maybe just a site you’d admire.

Then, simply search that competitors domain in Ahrefs to get started. I’m going to start by analyzing “dietdoctor.com” to see what I come up with:

Once I click on “search links,” I’ll then see the main overview of their site including the total number of backlinks and the domain rank:

Ahrefs-Main-Dashboard

Next, I’m going to click on “Top Pages” near the top of the left-hand navigation. What “Top Pages” does is show you what their most popular pages are, based on the social sharing and the number of backlinks to that page.

Here are the top pages for dietdoctor.com:

Ahrefs-Top-Pages

With a quick scan, I can see pages about “LCHF” (low carb high fat), Paleo diets, saturated fat, and lower blood sugar.

As you spot some of these keywords, jot them down so you can use them later to find even more related ideas. These are great idea starters for finding more long tail keywords because you know they are topics that other people like to share and link back to.

Bonus Tip:

Besides “idea starters,” you should also be looking for opportunities to directly “one-up” your competition.

For instance, you may find a page that does really well for a competitor, but you know that you could make something better. Let’s say the Diet Doctor’s page about LCHF for beginners is short, and not all that special.

You could put together a more thorough, better looking beginners guide to LCHF.

The great thing is, you can again use Ahrefs to quickly find out exactly where all of the Diet Doctor’s 6,000+ links to that page are coming from and reach out to those sites about your newer, better resource on this same topic.

Let me show you the steps to follow.

Step #1:

From the “Top Pages” screen, make sure you click on the “backlinks” link at the top so you can see the detailed link results. (See image below)

Step #2:

Click on the number of total backlinks, in this case I am going to click on “6,667” to see the links to the LCHF page.

Top-Pages-Backlinks-Ahrefs

Step #3:

Next, you’ll see a huge list of pages that are linking directly to the Diet Doctor’s LCHF page. Start at the top and work your way down, since Ahrefs sorts by putting the highest ranked pages at the top.

Here is a portion of the 6,667 links to my competitor’s page:

Ahrefs-Backlink-list

Step #4:

Click on the URL of the site linking to the Diet Doctor, and get a feel for the context of the link. Perhaps it is a list of resources on LCHF diets, which is great news for you. Once your LCHF page is complete, you can then go to the “contact” page of that website and let them know about a new, fantastic addition to their list!

Step #5:

Remember that for larger lists, like this one with over 6,000 links, you can click the “export” button at the top of the list and save this for later. This will allow you to keep track of your outreach in a spreadsheet and make notes on who you’ve contacted, and what responses you’ve received.

While this process can be time consuming, it is time well spent because you are using intelligent outreach. After all, every one of these sites has already linked to a page just like yours, so sending them a quick heads up about your similar resource makes a lot of sense.

Brian Dean calls this the Skyscraper Technique and it’s a great way to get buzz and backlinks – particularly for a new website trying to make a splash.

“They Ask, You Answer” – Keyword Brainstorming Technique

“They ask, you answer” is a phrase that I’ve borrowed from Marcus Sheridan. Marcus applied the concepts we’re talking about to his small, failing pool company and completely turned things around.

Marcus talks a lot about simply listening to your customers, and taking on the mindset of a teacher and not a salesman.

“They ask, you answer” simply means to start by brainstorming and writing down all the questions you get from customers and prospective customers on a daily basis.

The idea is that if they’ve asked you that question, other people are asking the same question in Google.

So take every question that you’ve heard, and make each one it’s own blog post on your website. If other staff members contribute, this could easily give you 50 – 100 content ideas to start with.

Find The Keywords That People Are Actually Searching For

Once you’ve done all the questions you know, it’s time to start finding other keyword ideas based on the data that is available to you.

As I mentioned earlier, Google makes the average search volume of any keyword readily available, but just knowing how often something is searched is only half the battle.

The other half is being able to analyze your competition.

Ideally, you want to find keywords that have lower quality competition in the top 10 results of Google. After all, if you can’t get to the first page then you are practically invisible.

If you are struggling to come up with other keyword ideas, here are some simple steps to follow:

Step #1:

Look for forums in your niche. This can be done by searching Google for “Your Niche + Forum.” Although forums aren’t cutting edge, they are full of active discussions from people in your industry. Simply scan the list of topics or “threads” and write down any interesting keywords or topics you see.

Step #2:

Search top selling products and Kindle books on Amazon for your industry. I particularly like looking at the top Kindle books in my categories of interest because the titles are often full of keywords that I can use.

Here is an example when I look for Kindle books about nutrition:

Kindlebooks

There are over 26,000 results, but just from the very first one I see “clean eating” and “healthy snacks” as a couple of interesting keyword ideas to explore. Write down all of the eye-catching keywords you see.

Step #3:

Once you’ve got a list of “starter keywords,” it’s time to get even more ideas for similar long tail keywords. We do this by using our own software, Long Tail Pro.

I start by adding a few keywords I found in my searching, such as “clean eating,” “healthy snacks,” etc. and then let the software generate a bunch of similar ideas.

Long-Tail-Pro-Keyword-Generator

Step #4:

Finally, look through the list of generated keywords and click on any of them that seem relevant to your business. By clicking on the keyword, you’re able to quickly analyze the current top 10 results in Google for that keyword.

This gives you an indication of the strength of those results and lets you know how difficult it might be for you to get into the top 10 yourself.

Shown below is a look at the competition for the keyword “low carb diet grocery list” which came up when I generated keywords from my list of starter keywords shown above.

LTP-Low-Carb-Diet-Analysis

If you need further detail, here is an article where I go deeper into the step by step process we follow to discover new keyword ideas and then analyze them in Long Tail Pro.

In short, you are looking for results from low quality, low authority sites that aren’t doing a very good job of targeting the keyword. These are the “low hanging fruit” of your niche and give you an easier path to start pulling in organic traffic.

Once you’ve done the research, here’s how you bring it to life on your website:

How To Target Longtail Keywords in Your Content

Let’s continue with our earlier example in the nutrition space. I used “low carb diet grocery list” as an example of a long tail keyword and as it turns out, it actually fits our criteria rather nicely.

After plugging it into our tool (shown above), I see that it gets searched 260 times per month and Long Tail Pro is telling us that the competitiveness rating is 26 (on a scale of 1 – 100), which means it is pretty low.

Now that I have a good keyword, I’d next go into my management tool (WordPress, Squarespace, etc.) to create a new page/post on this topic.

When I do, I’m going to use my exact keyword in both my page title and the heading that goes on the page.

This is important in helping Google understand what your page is about, and in this case we are focused on a very specific phrase that we hope to rank for. If you are a WordPress user, consider the Yoast SEO plug-in which will make sure you are putting your keyword in all the right places.

While “keyword stuffing” is a bad idea, you do want to use your keyword again in the heading of your page, and maybe a couple of times in the content of your page as it makes sense.

Remember that your focus should be on providing value to your human visitors first and foremost.

From here it’s important to create the best darn low carb grocery list you can. Make sure that when you compare your page to the others in the top 10 currently that you are making the best resource and deserve to rank #1!

Once you’ve added your content, simply publish your content to make it live. However, don’t expect to shoot up the rankings overnight!

In fact, it may take months in some cases for a newer site to start ranking well in the search engines. Be patient and understand that it’s normal. You’re best bet is to “rinse and repeat.”

Keep finding low competition keywords and adding pages or blog posts that zero in on that very topic.

A Word Of Caution on Content

Finding the best long tail keyword in the world isn’t going to help if your content is mediocre. The same goes with using Ahrefs for the “skyscraper technique” described above.

You have to deliver great content.

Here’s a quick list of other “on-page” factors that you should consider when creating your content. Stick to these basics and you’ll be on your way to the top.

Take Action!

We covered a lot, so let’s summarize an action plan so you can start growing:

  1. Analyze your top competitors in Ahrefs to see their “Top Pages”
  2. Jot down competitor keywords you notice, and look for any “skyscraper” opportunities to one-up their popular content
  3. Make a running list of questions you hear about your business
  4. Answer those questions on your website, one question per page/post
  5. Find other keyword ideas to target (using keyword tool like Long Tail Pro)
  6. Create content that is laser-focused on your keyword, and is of high quality to the end user.
  7. Rinse and repeat. Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

If you can do those 7 things I’m confident you’ll see success. I’ve done it personally and I’ve seen other businesses do it time and time again with fantastic results!

SEO strategies and some case studies

Case Study: Removing Forum Signature Backlinks Led To Increase In Search Traffic
Ever wondered that removing forum signature backlinks could increase your search traffic? Jérôme Verstrynge claims, that is exactly what happened to his website. Read on to find out why you should watch your backlinks closely and learn more about Google’s policies on forum profile backlinks.

How To Get More Search Traffic With Long Tail Keywords
According to Jake Cain, targeting the right “long tail keywords” with your content can make all the difference when it comes to the amount of traffic you get from the search engines. Discover how Ahrefs comes in handy on the way!

SEO Research and Trends

How Search Engines Process Links
Curious to find out how search engines crawl, analyze, index, and rank pages? Here Jenny Halasz provides her basic interpretation to help you understand how pages are accessed by search engines and the difference between robots.txt, noindex, and not found, especially as they relate to links.

Google Panda & Penguin Lack Real-Time Updates, Despite Google’s Past Statements
How Panda & Penguin anti-spam fighting filters work is the mystery of all mysteries, especially with all the contradictory statements Google gives. In this post Danny Sullivan conveys the latest news from Google: both Panda and Penguin are not pushing updates in real-time.

25 Tips From SEO Professionals
Stay on top of the latest industry news and take the advice of some of proven SEO professionals! How? John Rampton suggests checking out this post providing you with 25 useful tips from acknowledged SEO professionals. Enjoy!

3 Unignorable Components Of A Sustainable Web Presence
What are the three primary components of building a sustainable web presence? According to Stoney deGeyter, those are: website architecture, keyword optimization, and social media marketing. Don’t ignore them for sustainable long-term business success!

Content Marketing & Blogging

15 Places You Should Be Sharing Your Blog Posts (Other Than Facebook And Twitter)
Hard times finding places to share your blog posts? It’s so easy, given the enormous size of the internet and a tremendous number of opportunities available there! In this post Sujan Patel offers for your consideration 15 additional places you should be sharing your blog posts.

How to Adapt Your Content Strategy in Time for Mobilegeddon
Are you mad about mobile like all the rest these days? How about mobilizing your content? The author of this article shares some valuable content considerations when getting ready for mobilegeddon on April 21st. Take note before it’s too late!

Content Inspiration: One tool, 1000s of sparks!
Looking for ways to inspire your content creation? In this post Daniel Bianchini will show you how to use Ahrefs Content Explorer to provide you with 1000s of URLs and improve your strategy by either providing new ideas, improving content, or combining to provide a more valuable resource.

Repeat or Rewrite? How to Make the Most of a Great Blog Post
Should you start a new blog post or is there still anything you can do to tweak your existing blog post and make the most of it? Jean Dion suggests a quick check of blog success and some valuable tips for both cases.

Content Inspiration From Competitors
Looking for a simple and effective way to find out which content is driving the most links and social signals for your competitors? Dave Davies has a nice suggestion: use Ahrefs Site Explorer and Content Explorer to analyze competitors!

Link Building

Real Marketing In SEO: Building Links For Your Audience
Do you agree with Andrew Dennis saying that every single link you build should be intended for your audience? From this post you will learn about several benefits to approaching link acquisition with an audience-first mindset.

Social Media

5 Ways to Engage with Your Community
Want to successfully build a strong online community? Liv Longley knows what you should do: find your fans on social media & build a community around them, have a friendly environment, have some fun, have your community members participate, thank them.

Hard Numbers for the Activity on Google Plus
Wondering what is truly going on within the G+ stream? Eric Enge did a hardcore analysis of 516,246 randomly selected Google+ profiles to figure it out and shares his findings with you in this post. Enjoy!

How to Promote Your Pins
“Is Pinterest a part of your marketing strategy?” Rebecca Stickler claims, it should be, and shares in this post lots of valuable tips on how you can make the most of Pinterest’s option to promote Pins.

How To Grow Your Personal Brand On Twitter In Only 10 Minutes A Day
Want to increase your brand’s value on Twitter, but have neither time or money to hire a social media manager? Neil Patel shares some practical tips to help you grow your own personal brand on Twitter easy and fast.

Local SEO

An Idiot-Proof Guide To Local SEO
What’s next for your local SEO after Google’s Pigeon? Ali Moghadam investigates and covers in this article the ins and outs, providing you with some fool-proof plans to implement.

Your Google My Business Profile Image – The Most Important Image?
According to Mike Blumenthal, your Google My Business profile image is obviously the most important image of your business that gets seen by potential customers and searchers. Discover some guidelines to ensure that it performs well.

Mobile SEO

3 Ways to Force Google to Reindex Pages for Mobile-Friendly Tags
April 21st is approaching fast. Eager to get your pages recrawled to get the mobile-friendly designation? Google’s John Mueller claims, there is something you can do. Discover 3 ways to force Googlebot to reindex. And hat tip to Jennifer Slegg for pointing to these useful tips.

Why Is My Mobile-Friendly Label Missing in Google Search Results?
Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test declares that your site is mobile-friendly, but still the label doesn’t show up in Google mobile search results? Maryann Robbins explains when and why mobile-friendly annotation can be missing.

Email Marketing

How to Get People to Open Your Email: Increasing Outreach Response Rates
Get more people to open your emails and increase the number of positive replies to your campaigns! Kristi Hines describes in this post some effective ways to achieve this goal.

Click Here Or Else: The Evolution of Chain Emails
Just so you know, chain emails can help you identify brand influencers. Jason Warnock explains in this post how the concept of “share with your friends” looks like today and how marketers can leverage it to identify influencers.

SEM / Paid Search

6 Sins You’re Committing on Bing Ads
Be sure you are getting the most out of your paid search dollars and do not commit these sins that are consistently committed by advertisers on the Bing Ads platform, as pointed out by John Gagnon.

3 Practical Tips You Can Take Away from AdWords Search Funnels
Want to improve performance of your AdWords campaigns? Keegan Brown suggests taking away these 3 actionable tips from AdWords “Search Funnels”: find value in your keywords and ad groups, structure your remarketing campaign, optimize the paths in the search funnel.

Search in the News

Russian Search Engine, Yandex To Bring Back Links To Their Ranking Algorithm
Barry Schwartz reports that after dropping links as a positive and negative ranking factor last year, Yandex announced they would bring them back into their ranking algorithm.

Bing Adds Mobile-Friendly Label To Their Mobile Search Results
If you haven’t noticed, Barry Schwartz informs you in this post that Bing has quietly added a “mobile friendly” label in their mobile search results. Read on to find out more.

Infographics

How to be a Tumblr Titan [Infographic]
Become a Tumblr titan and make the most of this blogging platform for your business. This infographic shared by Amy Williams will show you how.

Infographic: Rate Your Website. Use This Checklist to Find Out How Successful Your Website is!
“Do you know how successful your business website really is?” This infographic from Add People will help you rate your website and find it out.

How to Choose A Domain Name For Your Website in 6 Steps

How to Choose A Domain Name For Your Website in 6 Steps

One major decision when launching a website is how to choose a domain name. It can affect your business in many ways. The domain name is what can provide your website with greater search engine visibility. It can also help you build your brand and shape your marketing strategies.

Here are some simple tips to pick the best domain name for your website.

1. Choose a unique domain name

Finding a unique domain name is easier said than done. Chances are the first few names you think of are already taken by other businesses. To prevent duplication or any copyright infringements check with the copyright agency of your country to see if you may be unknowingly violating the copyright laws of your country.

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Use already-existing words that relate to your business. In this case the branding of your business would be easier. You can also choose names unrelated to your business, as that may give a unique name to your business. One great example is Amazon’s domain name. Combine words to hint what your business is about such as carshoppe.com or funkyapparel.com. Another way to make unique domain names is to make your own words of which Google’s name is a great example.

2. Make it simple

The simpler your domain name; the easier it is to remember it. The better users remember it, the more they are going to use it and remember it. It’s all related you see. Your domain name must be easy to type without users resorting to pauses to remember the correct spelling. Maximum two words and 10 characters are more than enough for a domain name. Also avoid the use of numbers, roman numerals and hyphens.

3. Use Dot.com domains

A majority of people assume dot.com as the standard extension as it is most widely used across the world. If you go by any other extension and the user chooses to use dot.com when looking to go to your website, he/she might reach another one if a similar name is available except the extension. You wouldn’t want to miss sales because you chose the less common extensions.

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5. Keep name and services compatible

Misleading names do nothing to help your brand. It creates a feeling of untrustworthiness in your customers and the last thing you want is to make your potential customers feel cheated. If your domain is funkyappareal.com; it should sell funky apparels or relate to a specific customer base in some way.

For names that do not readily connect with the services they provide (like Amazon) you need to amp your brand-building so that your name becomes known to others respective of your services. Not doing so can harm the marketing of your company especially if your business is small, with limited a budget.

5. Impact of SEO on domain names

For SEO purposes if the domain name is short, simple and memorable it has greater chances of showing up in SERPs. Your search engine listing can get affected by other factors related to your domain name.

6. Use of keywords

Domains that use keywords rank high in search engine listings. Usedcarshop.com is better than carshop.com in terms of SEO. If someone looking for used car businesses types the same keywords as in your website name, the search engines will use your domain name to rank your website. However in recent years Google has made changes in its search algorithms that have made keyword-rich domain names less useful.