Why Link Building is Your Website’s “Best Friend” for Small Business SEO

Link Building for Your Website SEO

Search engine optimization is an ever changing and evolving beast.

The 200+ factors that contribute to how the Google algorithm perceives the relevance of a website for a specific search term is often changing.

Historically, the links pointing to a site have always held importance.

Over the last few years, the message coming from Google has been one that has tried to downplay the significance of external links pointing to a website as being a major ranking factor.

Is the power of link building a myth then or is Google just trying to pull one over on us?

Where We Have Been

One reason we have heard Google telling website owners not to worry about incoming links to their websites is that Google genuinely wants webmasters to not actively seek to build links.

Why is this?

For years, even a non-technically gifted SEO could send hundreds and even thousands of spammy links to a website with exact match anchor text and rank for semi-competitive terms easily.

Spammy Links

This does not fit in with what Google wanted to achieve-to provide the best value content to its searchers.

As the Google algorithm has advanced, the search engine giant has tried to eradicate the impact of spammy links to help a website rank in their search engine.

Where We Are Now

So the big question now is-are external links still valuable in the eyes of Google?

We used our own data and some external sources to take a look at a range of competitive key terms to see whether links still seemed to hold relevance for ranking.

We were looking for a direct correlation between external links from a range of referring domains and the power they had in terms of ranking.

For this experiment, we used a range of tools to help us scrape the data-the ones we found most effective were Majestic, Moz, and Ahrefs.

The findings confirmed what we thought we already knew and Moz had stated here. as well as Stone Temple here and Ahrefs here.

Here is a summary of our key findings:

  1. Over 99% of top performing websites had more than 1 referring domain linking to them.
  2. The number of links from referring domains and unique IP addresses correlated with higher rankings. In other words, the more websites that were linking to a website resulted in higher rankings.
  3. The number of links to inner pages of a website (the page ranking) did not correlate with higher rankings. However, the links pointing to the domain correlated with a higher ranking.

So what does this all mean?

Take look at the chart below showing the difference between what backlinks will do compared to just fixing on page factors:

Backlink Factors for Google Rankings

In a nutshell, no matter how much Google tells us link building should not be a focus –

link building still the single most relevant factor in determining the search engine ranking of a websiteClick To Tweet

What it also showed us is that while links pointing to inner pages had importance, you could still rank inner pages with less links (per inner page) than a competitor if the overall number of quality referring domains is higher.

What Is Meant By Quality?

Now we are getting to the crux of the matter and what is meant by Google when they say not to focus on link building strategies.

What Google wants to avoid (and what they want to penalize for) is manufactured and manipulated link building tactics.

They want to reward highly relevant and highly regarded links with the power they deserve.

Domain Authority comes into this somewhat but again it can be just another manipulated metric.

What is key is the Trust Flow and Relevance of the website pointing to you and the natural power that the website has.

By relevance we are talking a website about cats will link to a website about cat toys.

A website about cats is less likely to link to a website that centers around real estate.

So which link will give more relevance?

It seems simple now-but it is anything but.

The cost of building a backlink profile using this relevancy in a natural looking way is not only costly in terms of monetary value, it is also costly in terms of time, and costly in terms of experience.

If you get this wrong, then there is every chance Google will penalize your website and you will feel like the man below.

Penalized by Google

Penguin 4.0 Update and The Good News

There is good news for link building with the MASSIVE algorithm update from Google concerning the new Penguin 4.0.

Google has stated, via Gary Illyes, the following info about Penguin 4:

Penguin 4.0 Gary Illes

Bottom Line:

Google is telling us unless your site is being aggressively spammed,low quality backlinks will simply be ignored!

They will not count for or against you.

Great news for small business owners and SEO’s!

Where Things Are Likely To Go Next

The significance of external links to your website is not something going away.

Our study shows this and there are numerous other studies which also back up what we found.

The SEO scaremongers will always run around shouting the importance of natural link building (if you build it they will come)…but they never come.

The reality of it is external links are and will continue to be the single biggest ranking factor in the Google algorithm and there is a simple reason for this…

External links are the hardest element of SEO to build.

Let’s take it one step further…

High quality, authority, and relevant external links are the hardest element of SEO to build.Click To Tweet

Google knows this.

This is why Google places such a high value on these highly relevant contextual backlinks.

When Google looks at your website backlinks it will either give you credit for them, ignore them, or penalize you for them.

If you have over 500 referring domains and have a good backlink profile that isn’t spammy then the odd bad link will not affect you.

But if you have a poor backlink profile of spammy links and they are all coming from a few referring domains, then you are likely to get ignored or penalized-if not now, then a few months down the line.

How To Backlink Safely

It really takes the hand of an experienced SEO expert to assist with a link building strategy of this nature.

The use of guest posts, foundational links, and building other high-quality backlinks on trusted sources is the number one tool in a good SEO’s arsenal.

Can you rank without it for competitive terms? NO

A simple and resounding NO!

Sure, on-site factors will matter to Google-but nothing will hold the relevance and significance that a good set of backlinks will provide.

Unless you know how to acquire these backlinks in a natural looking way, the time frames that are acceptable to link out to your website, how many links to provide, the anchor text to use, the types of websites to link from, and how to assess the power and relevance of these referring websites then you are very much advised to leave the back-linking to an expert.

After all-one mistake too many and your website could disappear from the Google SERPS for good.

The post Why Link Building is Your Website’s “Best Friend” for Small Business SEO appeared first on YEAH! Local

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The Top 10 Local Lead Generation Tips for Small Businesses

The Top 10 Local Lead Generation Tips for Small Businesses

Need more leads?

Who doesn’t

Local lead generation is the lifeblood of any local business.

Without a continuous flow of leads, you may be right around the corner from going out of business.

To help you generate more leads, we have put together a Top 10 Tips Infographic below:

Local Lead Generation Tips

D Yur Research

Bfr you vn ttmt to generate local leads, d ur research t get f dtl n your target udn.

Wh r they?

Wht r they rhng fr online?

Hw r they ndutng th searches?

Look at questions your customers have asked and work from there.

Th will help u create an fftv kwrd strategy t capture these ld.

U Paid Onln Advrtng

P-r-lk nln d r a grt way t drv hghl-trgtd trff to your wbt qukr thn SEO.

With a set mnthl budget nd some solid kwrd, u n capture f local leads wh r lkng fr ur xt products or rv n the area.

Just don’t try to go this alone or you could waste a lot of money.

Google Adwords is not an easy feat to tackle for a small business owner.

Cnnt wth Prt on Social Md

Mr and more l r ung social md t ntrt with local bun in their r.

If ur trgt udn ndng tm n t uh as Fbk, Twitter, r LnkdIn, t u profiles on th sites and start turng th local ld.

Make sure to alsooptimize your social media profilesand post daily.

Build a Targeted Eml List

Inviting your target udn to subscribe t ur ml lt n f th easiest ways t gnrt new local ld.

Gv w something f value n xhng for thr ml address you n l fllw-u wth thm.

Th is a great w t buld rltnh they n gt to know you bttr.

Neil Patel wrote a great guide to get you started.

Improve Srh Engn Visibility (SEO)

Mt numr g t th search engines to lk fr ll rdut nd services.

Yur website nd t show u hgh in th rult n rdr t tur th hot local ld who are tvl searching fr what u ffr.

If you need help with this check out our Small Business SEO Guide.

Otmz Your Ll Listings

Ll listings, uh Ggl My Business, Yh Ll, nd Bing Ll wr created fll to nnt local bun with ll consumers.

Mk sure ur ltng are complete nd optimized so they m u higher in th search rult.

Need to check if your listingsshow up?

Checkout Moz’s free platform to find out.

Edut, Infrm, and Slv Problems

Many l ur the web fr nwr to thr problems nd concerns.

A a result, mn f thm end u dng bun wth companies tht have published great ntnt tht hld them ut.

Imlmnt methods, uh blggng, t consistently publish this t f lead-pulling ntnt.

Enhn Yur St fr Conversions

Gttng traffic t ur t jut th beginning.

Th ng on th k converting th trff nt nw solid leads.

Mk ur ur t qud to k vtr lngr, as wll mtvt thm t tk action.

Gd content, vd, mg, nd trng ll-t-tn ll n mrtnt rl n btng conversions.

Check out the free tools at SumoMeto help increase conversions.

Cndr Png fr Leads

SEO tk tm t get rult nd -r-lk n be xnv for m mrkt.

But wrkng wth a high-quality ld source can dfntl hl u nnt wth mr qulfd local leads.

Th mthd is powerful in xndng your rh nd ng a rwrdng ROI.

Follow-Up wth Your Leads

Whhvr method u choose to gnrt new local ld fr your bun, be sure t keep the ln of mmuntn flowing wth thm u n convert thm nt brnd new ng customers.

Keep following up as sometimes it can take up to 7 touches for a lead to respond.

Othrw, ll f ur efforts will simply b a wt f time nd mn.

*****

Do you have any more great tips for Local Lead Generation? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, if you like this post make sure to share with your friends, followers, and connections on social media. I would really appreciate it!

The post The Top 10 Local Lead Generation Tips for Small Businesses appeared first on YEAH! Local

Pounce On These 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Increase Business In 2018

Pounce on These 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Increase Business

In 2018, you need a sales and marketing plan that makes the best use of digital marketing to create more visibility and drive revenue.

We’ve identified five major trends that should get your focus in 2018.

The businesses that are able to best take advantage of the these trends will get a huge leg up over their competitors.

To help you get you started – and to make this coming year more profitable for you – read about the five important digital marketing trends for 2018 below.

Content Marketing to Attract and Engage Prospects

Content marketing is nothing new, but it is definitely evolving.

Small business owners have gone from simple blogging to more complicated strategies involving infographics, ebooks and more.

You don’t have to go all out like that, but you should be providing your audience some sort of value through the content you post.

People want to be educated. They want answers to burning questions.

They also want to learn more about the things they already do so they can do them better.

Satisfy their need with content, and you will win their attention.

Hold their attention with consistently awesome content, and you can win their repeat business.

70% of people say they would rather learn about a company through articles than ads.

For this reason, around 90% of businesses that advertise online use content marketing currently.

Most are interested in shifting dollars from traditional ads to content, where they can find better returns.

You should create engaging, in-depth content with a strong visual element to attract prospects.

Reach more people by learning about the content they want to consume and giving them more of it.

If you stay in front of your prospects through regular content posting, you’ll increase the odds of being first-in-mind anytime someone requires your services.

When you can balance your services & expertise with things your audience wants to learn about, you can hit a marketing sweet spot.

You’ll find bigger returns on web traffic, social media engagement, and lead generation.

Video Continues to Dominate

You might not be into Facebook Live yet, but you probably should be!

Recent data from Facebook shows that people are 10x more likely to comment on a Facebook Live video than otherwise.

Even if Facebook Live does not work for your business, incorporating video into your marketing is key.

Consider that 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos each week, on average.

Now, keep in mind that there are over 2 billion active Facebook users in the world.

A little bit of number crunching reveals that approximately 1 billion people watch one hour of video a week.

That’s a huge embedded audience to explore!

Video holds much more attention and communicates messages more effectively than text or still images alone.

Recognizing this, small businesses have been using video and finding huge returns.

Resource: Download 50 Online Video Ideas for Small Businesses

Whether as a type of content or a paid ad, video drives huge amounts of engagement.

Research from Wyzowl indicates that 79% percent of consumers surveyed would rather watch a video to learn about a new product then read about it.

Also, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.

So, people are not only watching video but also remembering what they see and actually buying things afterwards!

Small business owners can start working on their video marketing easily by answering common questions customers have – either Live or as a prerecorded release.

From there, consider repurposing some of your existing content into short, informative videos and uploading them directly to social media.

You know the audiences are there, you just have to give them something worth paying attention to.

Facebook Advertising To Reach Prospects

Facebook ads have become quite sophisticated in the past couple of years.

They’re finally at a point where even marketers for small businesses can target effectively while gain valuable audience insights.

Facebook has 1.3 billion active daily users, and they made $7.6 billion in ad revenue in Q1 of 2017 alone.

So, you know for a fact that audiences are there and that others are in on the game.

Without your own Facebook ad presence, your competitors are staying in front of your customers when you are not looking.

The average cost-per-click on Facebook is just $1.72, which means you it is a cost effective way to reach your prospects where they spend their time.

You can put your message about your business in front of high value prospects, even among very specific demographics.

When you combine video and Facebook Ads you really start to multiply the impact.

Recent data highlights the fact that social video (basically any kind of branded video or advertisement) generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

Using paid media and specifically Facebook Ads has quickly become a must to amplify your brand and product messages to your customer and prospects.

Even if your Ad is not runaway viral advertisement it can still likely generate more engagement, likes and awareness for your brand online.

Instagram & Influencers Drive Engagement

When it comes to consistent engagement, Instagram is the number one social channel out there.

That’s the conclusion of a study done by Yopto, which found engagement rate on Instagram to be 45% greater than on Facebook and 40% greater than Twitter.

What exactly does ‘engagement’ mean?

It means this: over 75% of users will take action on an advertisement post in their feed.

The key here is to let your customers do the posting as much as you do.

The same Yopto study found that 77% of people are more convinced by user-generated photos of a product rather than professional photos.

Crowdsource your own content by asking loyal customers for pictures of them using your product.

People love the attention, and you save on professional photography, so it’s a win-win for all.

Another key thing to know about Instagram is how powerful Instagram Influencers are.

Influencers refers to people with lots of followers and tons of engagement from fans.

There are all types of influencers, including subject matter experts who post videos and photos related to their expertise.

Small businesses can tap into these influencers at a relatively low cost.

Case studies have shown that niche experts in your industry will drive direct sales traffic without costing your company an arm and a leg.

Take the example of RESCUE, for instance.

RESCUE wanted to push their range of natural products, and asked a number of micro-influencers and bloggers to share their personal stories and include a buy one, get one free coupon with their post.

The results?

A 258% increase in Instagram followers – not to mention over 6,00 clicks to the coupon site.

Because of success stories like these, there is no question that leveraging micro-influencers to drive conversion rates will be a major trend in social media marketing going forward.

Optimized For Mobile Or Be Left Behind

Digital devices have completely changed how your customers search for and buy things. 2/3 of the world’s population is connected by mobile devices, and people now spend more time browsing on mobile compared to desktop.

According to data collected by SimilarWeb.com, 36.46% of Google searches come from a desktop in 2017, while 63.54% come from mobile.

It is expected that mobile use will continue to grow in 2018, likely surpassing the 70% mark by the end of the year.

The only conclusion you can draw from this: You must optimize your website for mobile.

Otherwise, you’ll hurt the experience for mobile viewers, causing them to seek out other businesses that can offer a better one.

What does being mobile optimized mean in 2018?

Looking at your search results appearance, for one.

Get found online by researching how your page appears on mobile search.

Mobile searches tend to bring up locally focused information, so reviews and accurate information about your business matter.

For instance, 50% of local mobile searches lead to store visits, so having accurate information on your hours is critical

The continued transition to mobile means people are searching for what they want in the moment at which they want it.

Let’s say a tourist is walking in downtown Chicago and searches for ‘best pizza’.

How will they compare the quality of competing restaurants within walking distance?

Usually, they will look to Google business reviews.

Research from BrightLocal points out that 90% of people search for reviews of a business before visiting.

That’s nothing to sneeze at!

The quality and frequency of reviews matters, so make sure to ask customers for reviews as part of your regular business routine.

Also, ensure the information available on your business from Google is plentiful and accurate.

You can start by using Schema markup on your contacts page.

At the same time, make sure you have accurate, updated directions to your business listed and your hours of operation updated.

All of these informative features need to be monitored and optimized for mobile use in order for you to keep getting business – rather than scaring business away.

Take Advantage of These Trends

In 2018, competing online is no longer an option.

It’s a must in order for your business to survive.

To grow your business you must apply a complete digital marketing strategy.

One that gets more Leads & Sales.

One that takes advantage of the shifts in Mobile, Social, Video, Reputation, Search and other digital marketing trends.

One that connects all the dots, so that people can find you on any channel but still have a consistent experience.

One that gives the information people need to make a buying decision through helpful content and a mobile-optimized experience.

This is the only way for your business to not be left behind.

If you take advantage of these trends, you will have a distinct advantage in growing your business over your competition.

The post Pounce On These 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Increase Business In 2018 appeared first on YEAH! Local

Small Business SEO: The Only Guide You Need

Small Business SEO Guide: How to Combine Content, Keywords, and Backlinks to Increase Revenue

The world of Small Business Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seems to change on a regular basis.

It’s like a new computer or the latest smartphone, after a while it becomes outdated and you’ll need a new one.

In this case, you’ll need new strategies and techniques.

In order for you to rank in the current environment, it’s going to take a lot more than JUST backlinks.

There was a time when getting a ton backlinks would have done the trick, however, what you are now faced with is a much more comprehensive search algorithm.

What’s reassuring though is with the new strategies and techniques, you’ll also find that some of the things that have always worked, STILL work today.

Blending content, keywords, and backlinks together, we present you with our Small Business SEO Guide.

1. It All Starts With Content

Now, more than ever, your content truly matters. No longer will be spun, regurgitated content stuffed with keywords work.

Content Marketing Atlanta

It all starts with writing great content

No, those days are long gone and you WILL be held accountable (or at least your small business site will) for the content you decide to post.

Content-Length

Case study after case study done by various content producers has shown the move towards longer content.

When you really sit and think about it, longer content just makes sense as being MORE valuable. Please understand that this is not always the case, as you can have lengthy content with absolutely NO value.

Content Length for Blog Posts

Content length matters

A study done by SERP IQ took a look at the top ten rankings in the search engines. Their results showed that the top 10 rankings (ALL Top Spots) contained at a minimum 2,000 words of content for that link.

The number one spot came in a shade over 2,450 words and declined as the rankings did. The number ten spot came in a little over 2,000 words.

At the very least, one of the main things you must consider is the length of your content.

Stop Repeating Everyone Else Have Something to Say

The search engines aren’t stupid.

They’ll be able to tell if you actually have something of value to say.

The search engines aren’t stupid.

They’ll be able to tell if you actually have something of value to say.

If you are just looking at other small business sites for SEO content, copying what they have to say and re-writing it, then you’ll have some other problems on your hands, besides search engine rankings.

Sure, the things that are said and found in most niches say mostly the same thing, BUT you need to stand out.

It’s like applying for a job. There are A TON of people applying for the SAME job. Most of them have the SAME experience and the SAME backgrounds.

So how does the employer choose?

Well, if you are lucky enough to edge them out with more experience and more education, perhaps that would be the way to go.

However, the even better way to go is to stick out.

How do you do that?

By having something to say.

By not sounding like a parrot.

Content Marketing - Don't sound like a Parrot

Having an opinion is not a bad thing, so long as you bring some value to the table.

Plan It Out

Okay, so now that you know you need some longer content, AND have a message and something of value to share, what do you do?

Well, if you are like a lot of people, then you’ll just start writing and creating with no general plan in place.

That’s okay IF you are an extremely talented AND experienced writer.

If you aren’t, then you will need to have a content marketing planfor yourbusiness.

How do you do that?

Well, you can start by figuring out what you want your content to accomplish.

For instance, if you want to provide tips on how to get stronger in the gym, then research your competition. What are they saying about this specific topic?

What’s the point of this you ask?

The point of your content is you want to stick out AND have value, right?

And you want to rank higher.

The point of your content is you want to stick out AND have value, right?

And you want to rank higher.

So, how do you win and rank higher than someone else?

Common sense says to do it and do it BETTER. Someone once said that in order to stick out in your marketplace and gain more attention and sales, all you need to do is take what’s out there and do it better.

Create Better Content for SEO

Do better than your competition

If your competition in the rankings is doing lists of HOW to get stronger then you’ll do the same. If the highest list of tips is 20, then do 30.

Better yet, do 40, 50 or even 100.

If you are struggling to gain weight and get stronger, which one do you think you’ll read?

Which one do you think will get shared more?

The longer, valued filled post OR the shorter one?

Make It Easy On The Eyes

A straight text doesn’t do well on the eyes. What you’ll want to do as you structure out your content is to break it up into readable sections.

Utilize different things like bullet points, bolded words, phrases or even numbered lists to enhance your content.

Here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Shorter sentences and paragraphs

  • Bullet points

  • Bolded words and phrases (especially keywords and phrases)

  • Videos

  • Pictures

  • Headlines

  • Subheadlines

  • Infographics

  • Graphics

  • Charts

  • Different colors (use sparingly and where appropriate)

Ensure That It’s Appropriate

Make sure that your content is right for your audience. This is extremely important for any small business.

You don’t want to create something geared towards the younger generation using buzzwords that they are familiar with, talking about technology that they all use and general language that they utilize IF your audience is older.

I do not understand the content

Huh? I don’t understand.

You also don’t want to give them the wrong information.

Wait, that’s common sense, right?

You’d think so. However, I can’t count how many times well-intentioned websites and content creators tried to cross over and it just didn’t work.

For instance, if you are going to a site to learn how to train your dog, then you really don’t want to learn how to train your alligator.

Sounds silly, but think about it.

Website Owner A

  • Is an animal trainer

  • Works with animals

  • Trains alligators

  • Have decades of experience

  • Is looking to gain more traffic and site visitors

Website Content Relevance

Make your content appropriate

So

He creates broad content saying he can help you train any animal, say, even your dog.

You get there, and you are dumbfounded.

Sorry, make it easy on yourself.

Don’t be Website Owner A. Make your content appropriate for your audience.

2. Keywords are Still Important

Here’s the part that many seem to forget keywords.

Without knowing what your keywords are, how are the search engines supposed to rank your website?

Without knowing what keywords you need so you know what you want your visitors to do, then how do you even know where to start?

Keywords are EXTREMELY important for SEO and content marketingas you begin the process of building out your website.

Keywords are going to help you better understand WHAT words and phrases you will need to focus on for SEO.

Focus on the wrong keywords and you’ll have a bunch of people just window shopping on your website.

Focus on the right ones and you’ll find the buyers and not just window shoppers.

Three Quick Ways To Research Keywords

  1. Go To The Source Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. All you need to do is open an AdWords account and you’ll be able to access the free keyword research tool to see what search volumes and competition are like. If you have your niche or even a keyword in mind, you can easily enter it to see what else you can find. Here is a video to walk you through how to use the Google Keyword Planner.

  1. Let Google Figure It Out Go to Google and type in a few words or even a base keyword phrase. The autocomplete will pop up and attempt to finish your phrase. This lets you see what is related and what people may be searching for AND gives you some added phrases and words to work with for SEO. Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll see Searches related to which givesyou even more information.

How to use Google autocomplete for Keyword Research

Use autocomplete for keyword research

  1. Read That’s not a typo. You’ll ACTUALLY have to do some reading. Go to the top ten rankings for your keyword or phrase. See what your competition is writing about. You’ll start to pick up on some things if you are paying attention. You’ll start to see what keywords and phrases other small businesses are using as well as some related ones.

Put It Where It’s Important And Sticks Out

Where should your keyword phrases go?

Anywhere it seems important and sticks out is the common sense answer.

Where are these areas?

  • Headlines

  • Sub-headlines

  • Anchor text

  • Titles

  • ALT tags

Don’t Stuff It, Make It Natural

The search engines aren’t stupid. Did we say that already?

Don’t make the mistake of stuffing in keywords and phrases in the hopes that your page or post will rank higher.

It won’t and it will do you and your website more harm than good for getting ranked.

What’s the answer?

Use it where it seems appropriate, where it flows naturally and also use phrases that are naturally related.

To paint this picture, let’s use the keyword phrase lose weight fast.

All you need to do is picture a conversation between two people. Let’s pretend the person speaking is the website, while the person listening (You) is the search engine.

Here’s the first version:

Hey, do you want to lose weight fast. I have lots of ways to teach you how to lose weight fast. To lose weight fast you need to exercise and eat better.If you want to lose weight fast, I can help you.

Here’s the second:

Are you trying to lose weight fast? If so, there are many different ways I can teach you how you can drop that weight quickly. If you are really bent onwanting to lose those extra pounds, then you’ll need to consider a healthy diet coupled with an exercise program. If you are serious about losing weight,then I’d like to help you.

Which conversation sounds more natural?

Which one sounds like an actual person is speaking instead of a robot and will keep you interested?

Don't keyword stuff for SEO

Use keywords, but don’t overdo it

The second has more to do with Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords and phrases, which is more of a fancy way of saying naturally occurring related keywords and phrases.

Yeah, people appreciate that, and so do the search engines.

Stay Focused

While you may have the temptation to use multiple keywords and phrases on the same page, and as it may actually happen, you might want to do your best to laser focus each page of content.

If your page is strictly talking about the keyword phrase How To Lose 10 Pounds In A Week, then it can only help your chances to get ranked for THAT specific phrase IF you focus on it.

Staying focused on one keyword or phrase tips off the search engines as to what you want to rank that specific page for.

3. Sniper Backlinks NOT Shotgun Backlinks

When you think of these two types of guns, there are two very distinctive thoughts that come to mind.

With a Sniper, you are accurate and precise. You are methodical and have put lots of planning and thought into what you are trying to accomplish.

Building backlinks for seo

Build backlinks like a sniper

With a Sniper, things are clean and if done correctly then you don’t even leave a trail.

So what’s the Shotgun like?

Well, quite the opposite. With a shotgun, you get a huge blast that’s messy. It’s basically a big net that gets cast in the hope that you get what you want. And shotguns usually leave a pretty distinct trail.

The former are the types of backlinks that you should be going after for SEO. You want clean, precise and well thought out backlinks.

You want them to be as precise as possibleso that the search engines know exactly WHAT they should be ranking your small business for. You want the search engines to also know that they are extremely relevant.

Don’t Buy Bad Links In Bulk

This just looks plain bad. When you buy backlinks in bulk because you think more is better, you must keep in mind how this looks on the other end.

A ton of backlinks created right away can do the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.

You may argue Well, what about those news stories that go viral and get tons of links immediately? Won’t they get penalized.

Here’s our rebuttal More than likely you aren’t a huge news source or website (if you are, we apologize) AND those links are extremely precise.

While you may be tempted to purchase backlinks to your site from one of those kinds of services, be sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

Get Some Clout

We’re gonna use a real live example for this.

You may think that more is better, well, we’d like to argue that you should be going after QUALITY rather than QUANTITY.

You’ll want some links from the bigger, more authority type sites. Getting a link from one of these types of sites (like The Huffington Post below) gives you more clout AND some of their authority juice passes on to your site.

Huffington Post Backlink for your website

Get high authority backlinks

Which means

Better Rankings!

Okay, so like we said, let’s take a look at a REAL LIVE example of this in action.

Imagine if there were a group of people you were being introduced to. Now, say there were a ton of people who no one really knew who kept coming up and saying you were the best at FILL IN THE BLANK.

For this, let’s say basketball.

Now, imagine a bunch of people who maybe played basketball in elementary school or even high school kept coming up and saying you were the best.

Would you believe them?

Maybemaybe not.

Now, imagine if some well known NBA players came up, like Michael Jordan, and were singing your praises of how great you were at basketball.

Michael Jordan says he is good

courtesy of Flickr

NOW, would you believe it?

I think It’s safe to say that you’d take Michael Jordan OVER hundreds of others.

Can you see how this idea of authority works when it comes to backlinks?

Make It Linkable

This really goes back to the content marketing section, but it bears repeating.

Longer form quality content that readers find value in, will get the attention it deserves, once you promote it.

If you wrote something and find that you wouldn’t even link to it, then don’t ask someone else to.

Take the time to create content that people will love and find extreme value in. Once you do that, it’ll make it MUCH easier to ask others to give you a backlink.

Be Proactive

There are two ways you can be proactive when it comes to getting backlinks to your site and content for SEO:

  1. Ask You can just be bold and flat out ask. Tell others about your site and why you think they should give you a backlink. This is one way to be proactive.

  1. Give THEN Ask Okay, great, BUT how do you do this you ask? Guest posting or Guest blogging. Create something of value for the website owner’s site or just ask if you can create something for them. You can do so, then ask for one link back to your site. If done correctly, you may have your in as many website owners are always looking for quality content to share with their readers.

Social Media

Social shares are HUGE. However, you must actively participate in social media networks and platforms.

Social Media Marketing Atlanta

Social media is a necessity

Don’t just post stuff when you want to get something in return. Be a participator in conversations and get to know others in your area of expertise.

When you are active on Social Media, you’ll find a few great things happening. For one thing, you’ll have access to their network.

It’s the whole What if one person told all their friends, who in turn told all of their friends and so on and so forth.

The beauty of this is that you don’t even need to rank!

Here’s an example, say that you post a high-quality article on your topic area and share it with 100 people on one of your Social Media Accounts.

Half of them find it newsworthy and decide to share it with all of their friends. On average each person also has 100 friends.

Do the math, 100 x 50 = 5,000 shares.

Imagine if it kept going and going and getting shared.

Do you see the possibilities here? The cool part NO SEO even needed. Just quality content.

Okay, so while Social Media network backlinks may not necessarily improve your rankings (up for debate), think about what happens when you share an AWESOME piece of content.

Naturally, it will get passed around, and what you may find is a whole set of natural backlinks occurring REAL Backlinks.

For instance, say you find something extremely valuable on social media.

You think it will be very helpful to readers on your website, BUT those readers aren’t necessarily friends with you on your network.

So, you post the content with a link back to the original creator’s website.

Voila!

Awesome natural link.

Now picture MANY others reading and thinking the same thing.

Can you say VIRAL?

Wear A White Hat

If you are familiar with SEO then you know the terms white hat, grey hat, and black hat.

White hat Atlanta SEO company

White Hat vs. Black Hat

White hat means all techniques that are clean and non-manipulative of the search engines.

Grey hat means hey this could go either way, depending on WHO you are.

Blackhat, well, we’re pretty sure you can figure out what that means.

While you may be tempted to buy into some black hat techniques for your small business, you must understand how long it takes for modern SEO to work.

With one algorithm shake-up, Google can SHUT DOWN your website.

Why is this a big deal?

It’s a big deal because there were MANY businesses and business owners who depended on these rankings, which were gained through black hat and grey hat techniques.

In fact, some business owners were unknowing of this because the SEO company they hired was doing it to get them their rankings.

So what happened?

Businesses rankings disappeared overnight, which means businesses went POOF! And were gone.

No, they didn’t LOSE rankings.

They got kicked out.

They weren’t told, Hey you gotta get to the back of the line.

No, THEY were told, Hey, you gotta leave.

They weren’t told, Hey you gotta get to the back of the line. No, THEY were told, Hey, you gotta leave.

While ranking may be something you are after and want RIGHT NOW, remember that the shortcuts COULD get you penalized.

As the saying goes Better safe than sorry, and you’ll be REALLY sorry if you use some of these bad SEO strategies and tactics to get rankings over the short term.

Closing Thoughts

The landscape of SEO is ever changing.

However, if you are doing things the natural way, doing things the right way and creating content that people, not search engines, ACTUALLY want to read and will ACTUALLY learn something from, then your small business can’t go wrong.

While you may not see the immediate benefits of SEO when you do things this way, what you’ll see is that over time you WILL reap the benefits.

It’s like a farmer. You plant and water, take care of the plants for a long time and eventually you reap an abundant and plentiful harvest.

Were the plants able to give you a harvest that week? No, but doing things the right way, sure got you where you wanted to be.

Just some last minute things to keep in mind

  • Track what you are doing. Don’t just put it up and leave it. Keep a watchful eye on your content, traffic, and which keywords are working and which ones aren’t.

  • Tweak and change as needed. If you see something that isn’t working and recognizes some changes that could make some improvements, then do so. Don’t be so prideful that you can’t admit that you were wrong.

  • Stay informed. Stay up to date with the latest in SEOfor your small business. Ensure that you are paying attention to all the news happening with the search engines and how it may potentially affect you.

  • Do it better. Keep informed on what others in your field are doing and just do it better. Provide more value, provide more information and listen to what your audience is saying.

  • Do things the right way. Sure, there may be faster ways to do things and in some cases, it’s actually a good idea. However, when it comes to SEO, you may want to think twice about these quick methods. Do things the right way the first time, so you won’t have to deal with the potential problems later on.

The world of SEO is ever changing. What worked years ago just won’t work today.

The days of shotgun marketing are gone, and what remains are sniper specific and laser targeted marketing efforts.

In order to ensure that your site and content gets the search engine love they deserve, then you need to keep a close eye on the content you produce, the

keywords you use and the backlinks you go after.

Do things right the first time, and you can’t go wrong.

And doing things right the first time, starts right here with our Small Business SEO Guide.

Let’s continue the conversation in the comments section. I want to know if you have some more tips or questions on Content, Keywords, and Backlinks?

Also, if you like this post make sure to share it with your friends, followers, and connections on Social Media.

The post Small Business SEO: The Only Guide You Need appeared first on YEAH! Local

7 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Email marketing has come back in full force, and brands that know their way around best practices can reap huge returns.

According to a survey of marketers conducted last summer, the average ROI from email campaigns was over 100 percent!

This ROI beat out other marketing channels by over four times, including social media, paid search, and direct mail.

One study from 2015 even found that email marketing could generate as much as $38 for every $1 spent, which equals a mind-blowing 3,800% percent ROI.

For anyone trying to squeeze more out of their email marketing or turn around their lackluster campaign success, here are 7 pointers for increasing the effectiveness of your email efforts.

Segment Your List (Or Risk Being Irrelevant)

Talk to people about topics, products and ideas they are interested in.

According to an infographic by Mailigen, using segmented, relevant messaging more than doubles your open rate while driving 18x more revenue for your campaigns.

This approach makes a lot of sense if you have ever been to a party where someone is droning on and on about something you just don’t care to hear about or have any interest in.

Have you seen how expensive jogging strollers are these days? they ask, not bothering to remember you don’t have kids and haven’t jogged since high school.

While the person talking may feel like they aren’t being terribly rude, to the recipient it can feel a bit more personal.

I don’t care what you are actually interested in the person communicates.

Everyone is equally interested in what Ihave to say.

Not having email segments is the same thing.

Ensure your list is segmented by buyer persona so that every message is as relevant as possible.

For people who self-subscribe, you can even give them a chance to customize the content they receive by interest, product category and other choices from a pick-list.

Just don’t count on them to do all the work of segmenting for you!

Using an email automation system like Constant Contact or MailChimp is critical to keeping these segments organized, but you can also potentially do-it-yourself by just separating your mailing lists into separate content buckets.

Once you have segments established, take a moment to strategize the difference between each segment based on consumer traits, progress through sales pipeline and other situations.

Then, outline the type of content that would be most relevant to each segment as well as what would be least relevant and should not be sent.

Taking a moment to get to know your audience can dramatically increase your open rates while lowering the amount of frustrated subscribers.

Use Personalization to Perk Subscribers Up

When we hear our names – even if we know it’s someone else with the same name being called – we tend to take notice.

Chances are good that your parents were pros at this technique.

When they said your name before a sentence, you knew they meant business!

We have the same reaction when we see our names in an email.

Personalization with a name and other details increases open rates by 26 percent, and it can even help drive brand affinity.

Note that personalization involves more than just adding a first name to an email.

The entire message should be framed as if the recipient is having a 1:1 conversation with the sender.

LinkedIn has become a pro at this tactic.

They use personalization in a way that makes you sit up and listen.

LinkedIn-Personalization2.jpg

Looking at moi? Go on, I’m listening!

The above message not only includes a name but signals that an exciting activity has happened.

It says people are looking at your profile.

Think of ways to mirror this effect so people get excited or intrigued just from looking at a subject line.

Segmenting your user base by the products they have bought (or expressed interest in) is another way to connect more deeply right from the subject line.

New Jeep Anniversary Fog Lights can be a way for a Jeep Wrangler owner to have immediate interest, for instance.

Data shows that this type of personalization is table stakes for marketers with successful email programs.

88 percent of those that exceeded revenue expectations have personalization measurement systems in place, says Inc.

Test Subject Lines Rigorously

A lot of marketers mess up promotional emails right from the moment they begin creating the subject line.

You should scrutinize your subject line, get in-house feedback from a fresh set of eyes, and A/B test different subject lines before rolling out massive campaigns.

The first step is to make sure you are using some sort of subject line preview tool, like this one.

Seeing your subject line visually helps you better-imagine how a recipient would react to it in their inbox.

Take special note of how the email looks on mobile devices since over half of email opens come via mobile.

People tend to filter out what emails to read by the subject line alone.

69 percent of email recipients will report a message as spam based solely on the subject line.

Worst words to use include:

  1. FREE
  2. $$$
  3. Earn
  4. Guaranteed
  5. Whitepaper, journal, report

Some of the best words include:

  1. [Recipient Name]
  2. You/Your
  3. Thank you
  4. Account
  5. Monthly
  6. Subject 1 | Subject 2 | Subject 3 (e.g. Bid Bonds | Liability Insurance | Worker’s Comp)

Note that not every common marketing knowledge pointer like this list may work for you and your audience.

Always test to be sure!

Promise to Not Waste Their Time

Thinking like a recipient means coming up with ways to offer something they might actually want.

For sales and promotional offers, think of the hottest product they might want or the best offer possible.

Don’t just tell them there’s a sale; tell them what that means.

HumbleBundleEmail2.jpg

Humble Bundle, which offers discount video game bundles, leads with its most popular game in the package.

When offering something non-material, like information, explain clearly how the contents of the email benefit the user.

It could be something deep/important like Want More 5 Star Reviews? or even the promise that You’ll Laugh Way Too Hard at These Marketing Puns.

Many email marketers find great results by telling their audience how they can get more out of the products or services they already use.

The New York Times has gotten this down to an art.

Since there is a million different pieces of content on their site other than what you see on the homepage, they take it upon themselves to inform subscribers about how they can learn and do more on NYTimes.com.

Get more from my subscription while spending less time? Sure, why not?

Use Powerful Images and Video

HTML-based email templates have transformed inboxes from a boring wall of text to a gorgeous place for showcasing compact content or well-designed advertisements.

Images are especially important for mobile since they make messages more colorful and intriguing as well as easier to read.

Since 80 percent of email users are expected to access their inbox via mobile at least some of the time by 2018, thinking about their needs is vital.

Using human-centered images like this stock photo can invoke emotion and draw the eye to certain email sections.

Make sure you have text-only alternatives for image blockers, and try not to get too overboard with the images you use.

Using images in a sloppy or unappealing way can sometimes hurt rather than help.

Using video embedded within email or as a link can likewise help you improve open rates and click-throughs.

According to one source, just using the word video in a subject line can boost clickthroughs by 65 percent and opens by 19 percent.

Tell People What to Do with a Single CTA

This one is simple: every email should have a call to action (CTA).

Your CTA can be nearly anything, including:

  • Go buy this product
  • Take advantage of a limited-time offer
  • Try our tips
  • Go learn/read more at this page
  • Attend our event
  • Upgrade your current service package
  • Book a free consultation

Ensure that your CTA is crystal clear and compelling.

Every recipient should know exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.

Providing a landing page after clicks to direct them more linearly to an offer can help simplify the process further.

That way, your real CTA is just Click Here, and then you can drive more complex conversions from the landing page.

Avoid conflicting CTAs or multiple messages.

No matter what you say, your ultimate conclusion leads the audience down ONE possible path.

This practice will help your clickthroughs thrive.

Study Email Marketing Analytics Like You Have a Test Coming Up

Lots of email marketing strategies tend to work well across the board for a majority of industries, but there is no single set of hard-and-fast rules.

Instead, every company has to study their own data in order to find what their audience seems to like/dislike about their emails.

Learn how to learn more from your email analytics, and use the lessons to optimize your approach over time.

Trial-and-error is the only way to truly get better at something, and luckily email gives you plenty of lessons in the form of data.

Stick to Email Marketing Best Practices

Mastering email marketing takes a lot of experimentation, practice, trial-and-error and attention to detail, but by following the best practices mentioned above, you can be well on your way towards greater success.

Just to recap your keys to success:

  1. Use segmentation to maximize relevance
  2. Personalize emails to get attention
  3. Test subject lines, mind your length and think like a recipient
  4. Promise true value to the recipient through your word choice and messaging
  5. Use emotional images in your layout
  6. Direct people to act with a single strong CTA
  7. Use analytics data to optimize your approach over time

Pay attention to what your data tells you, and keep up with the latest email marketing trends and advice on our blog to learn best practices that make you an email genius over time!

The post 7 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Email Marketing appeared first on YEAH! Local

SEO Cost: Why Premium SEO Is Cheaper In The Long Term

SEO Cost: Why Premium SEO is Cheaper in the Long Term

If you are a business owner who has exhausted the traditional marketing solutions for your business, then you are perhaps a little fed up spending your businesses hard earned money on advertising that either yields little results or is incredibly hard to measure the impact of.

In the 21st century, many businesses rely on internet traffic to promote or sell their products and/or services, and many businesses are moving away from the traditional marketing tools such as flyers and newspaper advertisements and are looking for digital solutions.

With so many options available in the digital world of marketing it can often be a tricky decision on how best to spend your budget.

It may seem like a good business decision to spend the least amount of money possible but that is not the case.

Search Engine Optimization Pricing

Let’s start by using search engine optimization as a good example of why often the more you spend, the better off your business will be.

The cost of SEO is discussed heavily in SEO circles but has the biggest impact on clients and the return on investment they should expect to see.

In reality, a good SEO service should pay for itself and deliver a profit for the investing company after all, if you told me I would have to spend $3,000 per month on SEO and I would only ever see a return in sales of $2000 then I would not employ an SEO agency.

However, if for my $3,000 per month investment I am seeing a $6,000 return of which $3,000 is profit, then I will be more than happy with my decision.

Let’s take this one step further and consider scale.

What if I could then say, ‘okay, let’s spend $6,000 per month on SEO and see a return of $12,000 in profit’.Click To Tweet

Am I going to take this deal of course I am!

We will further illustrate the point of how SEO pricing is almost irrelevant and the real question should be what return am I getting for my SEO cost in the long run?

SEO Services Pricing Vs. Google Adwords

If we compare search engine optimization pricing to Google Adwords pricing, then we can see more clearly the long-term benefits of SEO and dive deeper into the idea of search engine optimization cost being less important than we first thought.

Let’s take a look at some Google Adwords costs and compare them to potential SEO pricing.

In 2016, the legal sector leads the way in terms of Google Adwords cost per click with the term ‘best mesothelioma lawyer’ reaching a whopping $935.71 per click, but let’s take a look at a less expensive term.

The keyword ‘personal injury lawyer atlanta’ attracted a cost per click of $132.23.

Adwords Cost

Now that might seem an insane amount of money to spend per click, but if the value of each client was let’s say $10,000, then it could be profitable to go after this keyword using Google Adwords.

Now let’s say that the cost per click was more reasonable let’s say $100 per click.

Let’s say clicks convert at a rate of 2% of visitors signing up for their services.

So they would need 50 visitors for every 1 sign up. 50 x $100 per click = $5,000

This would leave them with a profit of $5,000 per client acquired using Adwords.

Now this is a decent strategy and one that can be scaled up to more keywords and it is easy to track.Click To Tweet

Now let’s think about this from an SEO point of view. On average the term attracts around 720 searches per month for the exact phrase match.

If we can achieve a number one organic Google ranking, then we can expect to attract 40% click through to our website. This would give us 288 organic visitors per month based on that one keyword.

Now, if we are to assume that 1 in 50 convert we would see 5 paying clients for this term each of these is worth $10,000, so that gives us $50,000.

Now, to get these 5 clients using Google Adwords this start cost us $25,000 per month. You should to see the value of SEO right now.

SEO Pricing What is a Fair Price to Pay?

Having given that illustration it is now easier to consider the cost of SEO and what we should expect to pay.

SEO Cost

In the illustration we were kind to Google Adwords (the actual cost per click according to AHREFS is $138.65) and we only gave the example of achieving one page one keyword ranking from SEO.

In reality, other related keywords that are a broad match are also likely to rank highly and attract much more than the 5 clients per month.

It cost $25,000 per month using Adwords to attract the $50,000 per month of business so is it fair to expect to pay just $500 per month to an SEO agency?

Of course not!

In reality, any figure less than $25,000 per month will be a sound investment and the long-term picture would be even more fruitful when other keywords can be targeted.

A more realistic figure might be anything from $7500 to $15,000 per month for this service.

What's Your SEO Score?

No One Size Fits All Packages

The illustration we have given would not work for a company that has a client value of $500 and this is why you should never work with an SEO company that offers packaged pricing.

SEO Pricing Package

It is impossible for any two projects to be the same. A good SEO pricing strategy will include a whole range of factors including the competition, the costs of pay per click, the resources needed to rank and many other influencing factors.

Usually, the more profitable the keyword the more competition you will expect to face. Although this is not a hard and fast rule and there are exceptions.

Why SEO Is Not Cheap

I think we have pretty much covered this but let’s look at a couple of analogies.

If you were to buy a house, and you wanted 5 bedrooms, a sauna, a cinema room, a hot tub and a swimming pool do you think it would cost the same as a 2 bedroom apartment that has been converted from an old warehouse?

Of course not!

On top of this the cost of the 5 bedroom house will be more upfront, it will have higher maintenance costs and ultimately it will cost you more money.

BUT the upside of the 5 bedroom house is that it gives you a higher standard of living, makes you more comfortable and is something to be proud of.

It is also a good investment and is something you can sell for much more later.

Search Engine Optimization Costs

The same could be said of your business website.

A reputable SEO company will continue to work to ensure your prime location (Google position 1-3) and it will cost you money but in return you will get the customers, the satisfaction, and ultimatelya huge return on investment.

If we go back to our comparison of SEO and Google Adwords, then it seems another fair analogy to say that Adwords is like renting a property you can only stay in that location if you continue to pay your rent, whereas SEO is more like buying a house it cost you X amount in monthly payments, but the investment will pay back in the long term.

SEO Pricing Conclusion

So you can hopefully see from these illustrations that search engine optimization is not something you can set at a fixed price.

It is also a service that requires knowledge, staying up to date on strategies, and you will pay a premium to work with a company that knows search engine optimization inside out.

This premium will almost always offer a good return on investment and that should be the question you are asking what can I expect my investment to return?

So stop asking how much is SEO going to cost and start thinking about your marketing in terms of ROI in the future.Click To Tweet

I will leave you with this one last thought.

How much does a guy flipping burgers earn each month for doing that job that requires very little skill and very little knowledge?

Do you think your SEO agency is going toprovide your business with a $25,000 per month profit for the same amount of money as the guy flipping burgers is earning?

No I didn’t think so.

You should look to get a good price for your SEO but above all you should look to work with a company you trust and can deliver a good return on investment.

Whether that investment is $1,500 or $25,000 per month it does not matter as long as it is profitable long term.

Frustrated With Your Current SEO Company? Download Our SEO Checklist Today!

Atlanta Local SEO Checklist

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