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Good Links vs. Bad Links: Where Does your Site Stand?

Anyone who knows much about SEO knows that backlinks – where one site links back to another – are important for your search ranking. The more backlinks you have, the better – in general. But there are good links and there are bad links that you don’t want. Google considers some backlinks to be worthless or even poisonous to your site’s health.
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So, let’s talk about links – good links and bad — and figure out which links you want to have and which you should avoid like Dengue fever.

Good Links

Google loves nature. Naw… they aren’t out there bird-watching. But they do they want to see Internet nature taking its course.  They want the content placed on the Web to be so amazingly bomb that people will just link to it naturally.

So, for example, look at Wikipedia.  When you search for just about anything, you will probably see Wikipedia listed on page 1, often at or near the top.

Why?

Because people want to explain things to their readers, and it’s much easier to add a link to Wikipedia than to go into a long explanation.  Though you can’t really rely on Wikipedia to provide 100% accurate information, many people think that you can. So, Wikipedia gets tons of backlinks.

I won’t get into a discussion of how fair this is not, but suffice to say, I think it sucks. Don’t get me wrong… Wikipedia has its place, but Google has made it just a little too powerful when you can’t completely rely on the research there, capiche?

Yet, Google sees these backlinks as “good” links because they happen naturally.

Do Follow and No Follow

There are two types of link that can be potentially good or bad, but it’s a coding convention that can either allow search engine spiders to follow the link from one site to another or tell them to STOP right there.

Do Follow links are best because they do allow search engine spiders to follow a link to wherever it eventually winds up.

No Follow links stop the spiders from going any further with a short HTML tag that is added to the link. (rel=”nofollow”)  This is automatic in WordPress. Because of so much spam commenting in years gone by, the WordPress developers decided that all comment links would be no follow. So, links you may be earning through WP blog comments, for example, are usually no follow links.

Though do follow links are preferred, the SEO community has been hashing and re-hashing the idea that no follow links still pass some mojo. Yet, no one has been able to come up with a definitive answer.  Only the Google ghods know for sure.

That said, your linking profile should look natural.  You should have a distribution of both types of link.  If you have only “do follow” links, it’s a sure signal to Google that you’re doing something wrong.

Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal links, where one webmaster links to you and you link back to his or her website from yours, used to be a great way to get backlinks and a way to getting your site rank higher. However, Google has changed its position on links such as these.

Though reciprocal links won’t hurt you, they probably won’t help you much, either.   Google doesn’t see them as having been earned.  Yes, according to the Big Dog, if you don’t at least bleed a little for your link… it’s pffft!

One-way links are best. That means, a site just links to yours, period. You don’t link back from any of your pages and search engines consider a one-way link a “vote” for your site. The more votes your site has, the better your rankings will be.

Bad Links

These are the worst type of backlinks to have, and these links can get you into major trouble.  You can even suffer the dreaded state of Web existence called “de-indexing.”  Yep… Google can just take your pages out of their search index, period.  That’s hard to recover from.

The biggest no-no is paid linking, where you pay a service to place your link on sites with higher page rank than yours. This used to be perfectly OK, too, but a few years ago, Google decided they wouldn’t allow paid linking any longer because they saw paid links as “gaming the system.” It kind of was, in reality.  Paid linking is kind of like buying votes in an election. Sure, it’s done, but you don’t want to be caught doing it.

Google also denies links that you got through any kind of linking system , which they call “link schrusty linksemes.” Link wheels, which were big a couple of years back, for example, were an easy way of getting your pages ranked in search.

In these systems, you would add your web page to the system, along with thousands of other pages, and a link back to your site would be placed on other pages in your niche. You probably agreed to host links from other sites in your niche, as well. Usually, you had to pay for a service to do this for you to keep everything humming.

A couple of years back, there were also blog networks that would take your article and place it on one of its system of blogs. The blog where your article was placed was supposedly in your niche, which wasn’t always the case.

The content people wrote for these networks was often spammy, too – spun, duplicate, or just pure garbo, and that’s just what Google is fighting against these days. They want to clean up the Web.

Though getting backlinks has become harder and harder for SEOs, I do applaud that effort.  Who needs to search for something and get a whole page back of irrelevant results or results that all lead to the same website.  Black hatters (people who use tactics meant to game the system) used to be able to do that, but not so much anymore.

If you have either paid links, links from a link wheel system, or links from any type of content exchange  network, find them in your Google Webmaster Tools account and banish them to oblivion.

Links from your site to your site

If you have two or more websites, you may have them linked together. There’s nothing wrong with that, but rumor has it that Google is discounting these links, too, so it’s not something you should care too much about doing.

Links in “Bad Neighborhoods”

OK, so what’s a “bad neighborhood”? It could be a black hat site.  Or, more likely, it’s about gambling or porn.  Though Google still ranks sites such as these, you really don’t want to have an association with them, unless of course, you’re in the gambling or porn niche, it probably doesn’t matter.

Where do we go from here?

Of course, the optimal link back to your website is a “do follow,” one-way link.  You can get these by guest posting on blogs in your niche or just by “link baiting” with killer content. Link baiting means you give people a reason to link back to you within the content.

So, for example, you write an article to teach new webmasters how to optimize their sites and keep Google happy at the same time. A great way to provide more information without having to parrot back all of their exquisite requirements is just to link to Google’s SEO Starter Guide. It’s link worthy.

But if you have links that aren’t so kosher with Google anymore, you should really use Webmaster Tools to go through them and figure out which ones are hurting you. It won’t be easy, fun, or quick, but if you expect to get search rankings back that you lost because of a Panda update, you MUST!

Otherwise,  just build a new site and start all over again. Google doesn’t penalize webmasters (at least not yet), only web pages. That said, if you’re a black hat person who will do anything to show up in the SERPs (search engine results pages), Google might just kick you and everything about you out of their index. Just sayin’.

The simple way to get rid of nasty backlinks is to contact the owner of the website where the link lives and ask for it to be removed.  That works sometimes, but sometimes, it doesn’t. Webmasters ignore you or they just don’t care.

If you have a whole lot of these spurious links, you can use Google’s or Bing’s link disavow tools, but you should use them with caution. Google says that most webmasters won’t need to use their tool, but if you spent a lot of cash on link wheels or have some low-rent site linking to you thousands of times, you may want to look into using these tools to get rid of unwanted chaff.

But beware. Even Google says it should only be the method of last resort.

The Big Dog Knows

Yet, some of it doesn’t matter. For example, I had thousands of links coming into my site from two sources when Panda hit in May of 2012.  I asked one site to remove their links and I believe that we’re down to zero from nearly 12,000.  The other site has nearly 4,000 links coming in. I emailed them about removing the links and they totally ignored me.

I could use the disavow tool, except… Google knows about these types of site and how they work. According to a comment made by Google’s John Mueller on June 29, 2012:

 So, you really needn’t do anything for Google. UpDowner was the site that removed all of their links from my site, to their credit. I’m not too terribly worried about the other site, however, and probably won’t bother with the disavow tool for that particular site. Google already knows which sites are spewing links out for sites all over the Web and that their backlinks are pretty much worthless. They’re just not counted.

Keep it Clean

The important thing to remember in all of this is not to try and force links.  Starting in 2010, infographics became all the rage. People put a lot of work into creating these visual snapshots of just about any topic and these were touted as the newest, bestest, greatest way to get links back to your website.

And they were. It worked for a while, but is it working anymore?

Doubtful.

Google saw the embedded link back to the infographics maker’s site as not being a true endorsement of the creator’s website.  The same goes for blog themes, where the theme developer adds a link back to his or her website at the bottom of the theme. It’s not a true endorsement.

The best thing to do right now is just become a content genius. Create written text, video, and audio with care and make it the best darned content anyone has ever read. You can teach, entertain or inform, but whatever you create for whatever purpose, you want it to be GOOD.

That’s how one-way, relevant links are born.

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New version 1.0.11 SQ for Chrome and 2.8.8 SQ for Firefox has been released

[ - ] FaceBook integration was removed due their demands

By February 15th, 2013 SEOquake Team is to discontinue its integration with Facebook. Starting with  the current update no likes will be displayed by the toolbar. The reason for the change is explained in a bit more details here

Posted in Change log [SQ Chrome], Change log [SQ FireFox], News | 11 Comments

10 Ways to Get Leads from Twitter

Many small business owners shy away from Twitter because they don’t think it’s an effective way to generate leads. But a 2012 survey from Hubspot found that 44 percent of marketers acquired customers from Twitter. If you’d like to start getting business by tweeting, here are a few strategies to implement:

1. Build your network – You won’t be able to generate any leads without a good network on Twitter, so that means you need to build a following. The best way to do that is to follow other people, such as colleagues, customers, and potential clients in your industry. Mention them in tweets and retweet their content on a regular basis. The goal is to start conversations, so that you can build trust. The cliché is still true – people do business with people they like and trust!

2. Optimize your Twitter presence – Your prospects won’t be able to find you on Twitter if your profile isn’t optimized. Include keywords in your profile that describe your business and/or industry. Also, include keywords in your tweets. You can include them in the body of the tweet, or set them apart with a hashtag.  For example, let’s say you are tweeting about a blog post that talks about how to get leads from twitter. You can include a keyword like: #smallbusiness if you want to target small business owners.

3. Tweet valuable content – Keep your prospects’ needs in mind when creating tweets. Share useful information that helps them solve their problems. This can be content you create or content from other experts in your industry. If you do any lead generating special events such as webinars or teleseminars, you can reach a whole new audience by tweeting out the invitation link. A good rule of thumb for developing an appropriate content mix is to use the 4-1-1- strategy.  For every one tweet you post linking to a piece of your own content, and another tweet that is purely promotional, you should post 4 tweets of content from other industry leaders.

4. Tweet regularly and consistently – Any type of marketing requires consistency. Social media marketing, in particular, requires that you spend time on a network and use it regularly. So, don’t think you can tweet once a week and that will do it. Twitter is a high volume channel. You have to tweet enough to get noticed by your followers and prospects, otherwise, you’re just wasting your effort. But you can overdo it too.

TrackSocial studied the tweets from top brands and found that there seemed to be a “sweet spot” for tweeting 4-5 times a day. Their survey found that when a brand tweets 2-5 times per day they get more Retweets per Tweet, by up to 300%, compared to when they Tweet only once a day. TrackSocial also found that there was a drop-off in response when a company tweeted more than 5 times a day.

5. Create a dedicated Twitter landing page – If you want to be a step ahead of your competition, create a dedicated landing page that caters specifically to Twitter users. Include the URL for the page in your profile. Make sure this page either introduces your company, or offers a piece of lead generation content, such as a white paper or eBook.

6. Tweet links to landing pages – Now that you have created this dedicated landing page, tweet about it!  Not every hour, on the hour, mind you. Tweet a few times a week, and at different times of the day, so you can reach different prospects.

7. Share valuable content from your blog – Businesses that blog have 79% more Twitter followers than ones that don’t. The relationship between blogging and Twitter is even better for companies with fewer than 15 employees. These small businesses have on average 102% more Twitter followers than those who don’t blog. Just make sure you have lead generation calls to action on your blog and then link to it during your tweets.

8. Monitor industry terms – Use Twitter search to monitor industry terms and then follow users who mention those terms, or engage them in a conversation. Ask questions or offer advice, and invite interested users to join your email list or become a follower on any other social media channel you use, such as Facebook or Pinterest.

9. Participate in Twitter Chats – Want to expand your social network, showcase your expertise and learn from other experts? Take part in a Twitter chat. There are more than 600 of these organized events happening on Twitter at various times of the day or night.  Ask questions, share insights and discuss. TweetReports.com offers an ever growing list of Twitter chats on a variety of subjects, complete with the chat hashtag, topic, moderators and date and time the chat takes place. Or you can follow @ChatSchedule for a real-time listing of chats currently happening on Twitter.

10. Weed out people you follow – There’s no rule that says you have to follow everyone who follows you on Twitter. Use third-party Twitter tools if necessary to weed out spammers and other users who aren’t good prospects for your product or service. Remember, it’s more important to have a smaller network of people who are interested in what you’re tweeting about, then to follow people who don’t interact.

These are just a few suggestions of how you can generate leads with Twitter. Remember that you are limited in the number of characters you can post (140), so keep your messages short and to the point. Don’t try to “sell” people. The goal is to carry on a conversation while sharing interesting and useful information about your business.

Posted in News | 4 Comments

Blackberry has reappeared on the ‘Smart Phone Scene.’ It’s about time!

It’s happening! It looks like Blackberry is trying to make a comeback, and I have to say that I honestly didn’t expect to see them in the news when I opened up my browser this morning. With most smartphone gossip being about the iPhone 5, Blackberry has made the headlines for the first time in quite a while. According to news outlets galore, Blackberry will finally be releasing the Z10 which is an all-touch screen (that comes in black or white just like the iPhone), the Q10, which is a version closer to Blackberry’s original for those who prefer the nostalgia of the earlier devices, and the corresponding Blackberry 10 operating system.

This will all go down in February and March (depending on the country). Also, Blackberry has done an all-out identity check and have combined RIM (Research in Motion) and Blackberry into a single entity. We all know that Research in Motion was facing some serious financial difficulties, so maybe the changing their name to ‘Blackberry’ will be a good move in the long-run. Another cool fact: Alicia Keys is going to be Blackberry’s Creative Director.

There are so many news stories revolving around the new Blackberry that they are simply being pushed upon the public, whether they are searching for them or not (for instance, the keyword blackberry has approximately 450,000 searches per month and 910 million results). I’m thinking that searches will increase quite a bit now that the news has hit the stands.

 

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As a simple SEMrush search for blackberry.com shows, they are bidding on many keywords that contain the word blackberry, but the amount that they spend on each keyword is spread out, their landing pages are varying, and their ads keywords have been increasing little by little.  But, it’s only January, so I’m sure the public will be anxious to hear more about the future of Blackberry and also the re-invention of their company (I know I will – I’ll never forget my first phone with Internet access, which was my beloved purple Blackberry Curve. And who can forget BBM?)

So will Blackberry be able to compete with Apple’s new iPhone and even the Android phones? We still have until March when the Blackberry 10 devices will be released in the United States (and supposedly the wait is due to pricing decisions that still need to be made for different carriers), so we will see.

I, for one, have an upgrade coming up in March and have had it engrained in my head that I was going to take a step up from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5. But after seeing the news about Blackberry’s new overhaul and Z10 smartphone… who knows, maybe I’ll keep my options open. Will you?

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Posted in Articles, News | 3 Comments

Killer Content and George

Killer Content and George

Since the crackdown on almost everything that’s been going on with SEO over the two years, many webmasters are scratching their heads wondering what the heck to do to get decent search rankings. If you haven’t had your ear to the wall, you’re probably still scratching your head, too, and wondering why your site no longer gets that great targeted organic traffic that it once did.

From the many messages and hints that Google has been sending out on a regular basis, we have come to know that killer content is once again the Golden Fleece of SEO. However, it must be well-written and either informative or entertaining content that employs good grammar and perfect spelling, too.  (For those of you who hate to write or can’t write well, stick with me here because there is an answer for you, too.)

But you’re probably shaking your head, thinking that creating quality, engaging material is well… darned hard to do.

And it is.

But who reads that content (or who do we want to read that content)? It has nothing to do with search engine spiders. It has more to do with our buying public, doesn’t it?  Of course, you may just be online for the heck of it and that’s OK, but business owners are more interested in making their customers and clients happy, in encouraging them to trust their brands, and in getting people to buy. Right?

As a brand, you need to help people in your niche to solve a problem, to make them smile, and to bring them into the bosom of your brand. Why do you think Coke makes those great touchy-feely videos where there are free Cokes all around? It’s not because they want to give their product away. It’s because they want you to feel good and have that image of Coke in your mind the next time you’re thirsty.

You’ve got the content, so where’s the applause?

For the sake of carrying our premise further, let’s say that you already have some amazing content. So now, what do you do with it, right?

In 2011, it was all about “Infographics.” In 2012, it was more about “guest posting.” This is a cool way to get content for your blog, for sure, but have you tried to get a blogger to respond to your queries? It’s not easy if you’re a known commodity, right? So, let’s come up with a 2013 strategy that works and makes search engines happy at the same time.

Let’s call it “George.” (If Google can call updates Panda and Penguin, our strategy can be George.)

You see, George is bold. George bypasses the webmasters and goes straight to social content sites. It’s much easier and quicker, too.

And still, George keeps the premise in mind: Google loves quality content.

The more content you create and place online, the better off you’ll be in terms of search results placement because Google is watching just about everything you do these days. It’s more about your popularity and presence online than anything else. They want to promote people in their search engine results pages who add value to the Web.

George puts your content into sites where you can get do-follow backlinks, and no, not article directories. They’re pretty much over. But before we go any deeper, you must know that George isn’t a quick solution. You won’t see your rankings rise overnight.

George can never be diminished, though. George is strong, and withstands the test of time.   Content can go stale, it’s true. But quality content never dies. It’s stays out there, and though that content may not rank in and of itself (because it’s too old, because the technique no longer works, etc.)… George works to give you prominence! If people are reading and commenting and sharing, etc., that’s always going to be good for you.

We’re not talking about salesy, spammy content, either — content that has 5 links, and does nothing but sell the product.  No!  That’s the last thing you want to do. One link back is fine, but more than that, and it could get you booted from the website. And Tumblr, for example, won’t allow you to sell at all. At Tumblr, link to other content that you have out there, not to your sales page or your product.

Read the site’s guidelines. With some, it’s OK to have a connection to commercial ventures. However, some sites disallow it, so be selective and follow the website’s terms of service because if you don’t, you’re pretty much wasting time.

Where are the cool sites?

How about Blogger? Yes, I know you have a blog on your own hosting account, but Blogger has a couple of cool things going for it. First, you can get do-follow links back to your site from there. Second, it’s a community, so Blogger actually helps you to promote your content there. You follow blogs, those blogs follow you back, and you make friends who make comments and so it goes. And I’m talking about using Blogger in addition to your main blog that is your own website.

But George won’t let you place one article and walk away, which wouldn’t do you a single bit of good. George keeps the content flowing and builds a real body of work on these sites, over time. You may only place ONE post a month in Blogger, but content that is read and shared on any of the social sites will still help you.

The backlink is really secondary. Though it helps a tad, Google recognizes that you’re linking from your own content, which is not effective anymore. Still, by posting as your brand, you are only helping to add that all-important VALUE to the Web.

And remember, we’re not talking crappy spun articles that you spam these sites with, either. If it ever worked, it doesn’t anymore. So every article you place needs to be really good stuff and 100% unique.

So, you create an account at Blogger, and maybe at Scribd (which is no-follow, but still worth it), and how about WordPress.com or Tumblr, too?  Of course, these mini-sites take a lot of work, and it helps to be a prolific writer.

What will George do for me if I hate to write?

If you’re not a good writer or you’re not as prolific as you should be, pay to have someone write these content pieces for you. Four well-written articles should cost less than $100 a month and do you a world of good.

Or, make an audio or a video and have it transcribed. It’s much easier to write that way. Hire an editor if you have to. What you write has to make sense and be easy to read.

I’m aware that Google frowns at others writing for you, but really… How do they know? They can’t! And celebrities who are “authors” rarely write their own books, either. They tell their stories and someone else does the heavy lifting of turning the material into a book. It’s not cheating, it’s ghostwriting and it happens every day, all around the world.

So, it’s most definitely a solution. It’s one of those things that you hear from Google, kind of like how Matt Cutts said that press releases don’t do much for your SEO recently. Untrue. What he’s actually saying is that we don’t want the same content spread out all over the web.  Press release distribution is not very helpful in that it’s duplicate content.  Duplicate content is NOT what Google wants anymore, so that makes perfect sense. Still, that one link from a high-ranking press release site does help, even though it’s the only link that counts.

Hyper-Stress: ONE-of-a-Kind

Everything you write needs to be not only high-quality, but it has to be UNIQUE. That’s the key. The more good information placed around the Web as your brand, the better.

Because Google is taking your authorship into consideration when deciding whether you should be ranked in search or not, this placement of killer, unique content can only help you. Think of it as a big snowball racing downhill to smash that Honda in your parking space.

People and brands with the most clout online will also be the ones producing the best and most useful content.

Let George make you one of them?

Gotta love that George.

Posted in Articles, News | 9 Comments

5 Silly Mistakes Marketers Make (and Probably Don’t Even Realize They’re Making)

SemRush_CatEyes

We all make mistakes in day-to-day life, that’s for certain. But when it comes to marketing, mistakes can be made in Internet marketing campaigns and PPC, often without the business even realizing it. So I figured, why not take a look at some of the most common, most ridiculous, and most surprising mistakes that marketers tend to make:

 

1.      Don’t accidentally bid on ridiculous keywords.

Wait, what am I advertising for again? That’s a key question. Last time I checked, I was pretty certain that Lens Crafters doesn’t sell “Sexy Cat Eyes” on the regular. However, their keywords are showing otherwise, as they are the number one bid for that very Adwords keyword. So I guess since Lens Crafters obviously isn’t aware of what they are actually advertising, they shouldn’t be surprised if customers enter their establishment with “Sexy Cat Eyes” on their shopping list:

 

Mistakes article 1

Marketers, and in this case Lens Crafters, should always make sure they know what they are advertising for to prevent any false advertising (even if they didn’t realize it) and disappointed customers like poor Puss in Boots.

Lesson #1: Make sure you know what you’re advertising for and remember to use Google Adwords’ negative keywords feature to filter out strange things.

 

2.      Don’t bid on your company name.

If you are a company with a name, which most are, it is likely that you already rank number one organically. So the question is: why would you also bid on that keyword if you are already ranking in the top for it? A good question indeed, and a prime example of this is CVS:

Mistakes article 2

While CVS is an extremely well-known, well-liked, and well-advertised pharmacy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are making the best use of their PPC advertising. For example, CVS is obviously ranking at the top for cvs organically, but they are still bidding on the keyword cvs card. They are probably spending the equivalent of one of their hourly workers’ yearly salaries on this useless ad. They have no competition in ads for the cvs keyword, and they are the only ad that appears and they actually have less data in the ad than in their organic listing, and are not even using it to show promotions or make sales known. Basically, it is just completely wasted space that is pointlessly duplicating their number one search position that is already FREE.

Lesson #2: There’s no need to bid on your own name, so don’t!

 

3. Don’t send potential customers to an incorrect or irrelevant landing page.

When potential clients type in Google search, they know exactly what they are searching for. So why might a marketer send a customer to a landing page that has nothing to do with what they are searching, or even to the general homepage? In that case, the customer would have to continue the search on their own on the actual website to locate what they want. Or, there are more extreme cases such as the big mistake that the clothing store Express made:

Mistakes article 3

Express is bidding on the rather general and popular keyword womens tops. However, the landing page is www.express.com/PuertoRico. Two questions immediately come to mind: first of all, what does Puerto Rico have to do with women’s tops? Second of all, the landing page itself presents the clicker with something that is probably unexpected: a 404 error. Even if this landing page was there for a limited-time promotion and was taken down after the sale had ended, they spent a lot of money to draw people to that specific URL. Now, as customers try to come back, they receive an error without even being directed to a working or real part of the store. This is something that needs to be paid attention to, and marketers such as Express may want to take a moment to ensure that their landing pages are specific, and above all, in working order.

Lesson #3: Always make sure your customers are being send to the right landing page.

 

4. Don’t use the same ad copy. Over, and over, and over again.

Ad copy isn’t exactly something that is easy to decide upon, particularly when attempting to achieve a fruitful marketing strategy. Also, ad copy is something that some of the larger retailers may get a little bit lazy about. A flawless example of this is JCPenney, who has already caused quite a stir in weaning their customers off of store coupons. It seems as though their ad copy is just as dull as their lack of sales:

mistakes article 4

Take a good, hard look. The landing pages for each of these ads is identical: www.jcpenney.com/officialsite, and so is the title for each ad: “JCPenney.com – JCPenney Official Site,” and part of the text that follows: “Free Shipping No Minimum!” Talk about repetition. JCPenney obviously didn’t consider that they might benefit from mixing up their ad texts a little bit, and using the same ads over and over for different keywords is not the best strategy So remember, marketers should always keep their ad texts informative, relative, and assorted to pull that customer in. Oh, and forget the repetition. You don’t need it. Really. You don’t need it.

Lesson #4: Expand your ad copy horizons and stop repeating yourself!

 

5. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!

Many marketers are tempted to put all of their eggs in one basket, so to speak, and hope that the plan they put in place succeeds. While Google is the prime source for AdWords and the first method of Internet marketing that comes to mind for most, there are also other sites that can be used. So why try Google but neglect to give Bing a fair shot? This is a perfect example of a mistake that many make, in relying only on Google campaigns and not bringing Bing into the mix. For the purposes of this final example, we are going to use The Huffington Post, a popular American news website and blog:

mistakes article 5

As can be seen from their ads keywords, absolutely none of their budget is going to Bing advertising. While Huffington Post probably already has loyal people who visit the site each day, they are depending only on the keywords advertising of Google. So why not give Bing a try for some ads? It can’t hurt.

Lesson #5: Branch out in how and where you advertise!

 

Summary

Mistakes are common, and are to be expected when trying to plan an effective Internet marketing campaign. Many advertising efforts may be hit or miss and it takes time to determine their effectiveness. So? Lessons learned: some mistakes are more preventable than others, and making sure not to make these trivial errors can help to make your advertising goals that much more achievable in the long-run.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

5 SEO Tips to Capitalize on Facebook Graph Search

5 Tips to capitalize on Facebook Social Graph SearchSo, the new Facebook Graph Search is pretty big news.   I’ve been following it closely, and it’s been a big topic of conversation here at the office.  There’s really no question that it’s important.  Sure, the buzz around it will die down.  The important point to remember, though, is this: once the buzz goes away, Facebook Graph Search will simply be the default way people search for stuff on Facebook.

facebook_graph_search_vs_your_facebook_page_inline

So, how will your business fare?  Are you prepared for the Graph?  Do you even know where to start?  Let’s look at 5 simple points that you can do right now to maximize your impact on social graph, and even benefit from it in a major way.

1. Have a good business page.  This one is obvious.  Just like in SEO, optimizing an ugly page won’t get you far.  Are you really sure that your business Facebook page looks good?  It’s not hard.  You should have a proper timeline cover pic.  The right size for your cover photo is 851px by 351px.  Make sure your profile pic is the right size.  You should upload this as 180px by 180px, and it will display as 160px by 160px.  I use this great template I found on Facebook.

2. Have accurate and searchable business information.  Specifically, you can find this under Edit Page – Update Info.  Here, you need to make sure that your Category is set up right, as well as making sure that you have accurate information and keywords in Description and Products, and of course, the correct Website.

3. Build an audience, NOW.  Seriously.  This is the most important point.  Now is the time to build your audience, because this alone will be the primary reason you’ll show up in Graph Search.

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Remember, the whole point of Graph is to let a user see what their friends, and friends-of-friends, like.  The more likes you have, the more times you’ll show in search.  Spend a little money, promote your page with some featured posts and Facebook ads, and it will pay off when Graph launches and your competition is left far behind.

4. Update your address.  If you have a location or a local place page, make sure that your address is entered and accurate.  This will ensure that people performing a location-based search will find you.  One of the big things with Graph is that people can enter plain-speech queries.  So, there will be a lot of queries like “find a barbershop in my hometown” that will rely on your business having proper location information.

5. Make sure you have a posting schedule.  Try to post something at least every other day.  Want a good example?  The Kraken Rum does it right on their awesome business Facebook page – they post something silly and memorable once a day to keep their audience engaged.

facebook_graph_customer_engagementNot only will this draw more likes by way of shares, but you’ll be keeping your growing your audience and keeping them involved with your business – isn’t that what marketing is all about?

For more information, check out Facebook’s own page on helping people discover your business on Graph Search.  I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this!

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The New Facebook Social Graph is Mark Zuckerberg’s Gift to Marketers

Facebook held a press conference today, in sort of an unannounced, invitation-only manner.  Announced was the new Facebook Social Graph feature.  Depending on where you’re sitting, it’s either “the most convenient marketing feature ever handed to you,” or it’s “how can I set my profile to unsearchable?”   What do I mean?  Well, how many Facebook friends do you have?

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Basically, the new feature allows you to type in nice long phrases, which the Facebook servers then parse for keywords and return matching people.  They don’t even have to be friends – you can search for “Friends of friends who like Product X and live near me.”  Then, simply take the resulting huge list of people, and put them in your spreadsheet.  You can title it “Free leads that Facebook gave me.xlsx.”

Think about it – the majority of Facebook users on my friends list even have their phone number and email address in their profile, available for friends to see.  My own Facebook account is strictly real-life-friends-only, but how many people just accept every friend request that pops into their inbox?  That’s rhetorical, of course.  The answer is “most Facebook users.”

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What do you think?

 

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SEMrush userbase is 300,000 strong!

Congratulations to our 300,000th user from SEMrush Team!

 

Dear valued customers!

We are happy to announce that our userbase has recently grown to 300,000 registered users! It is our great pleasure to say thanks to all of you for your interest in our services.  Nothing makes us happier than seeing you return to our website time and again, as it lets us know we’ve made something you find really useful.  Since the beginning of our journey as a company, we’ve never failed to remember that it is you, our customers, to whom we owe our success today!

To celebrate such a momentous occasion, we are presenting our 300,000th registered user with a one-year Pro Account! Our lucky customer is John Basham of Texas, and we are excited to welcome him to our SEMrush Pro community.

We are grateful to all of our SEMrush users for their involvement in our success, and we hope you’ll continue with us as we move towards a bigger and even brighter future.  When we see articles, blog posts, and comments about our service, we realize how much SEMrush is truly needed by so many people. Everything that our users do is appreciated greatly, and it’s thanks to your help and amazing feedback that we have officially gained 300,000 users on our roster!

But wait, there’s more…  Just today we’ve made yet another major and much requested improvement to our service:  Historical Databases for the entirety of 2012, month by month. This data is available now for all of our Guru and Enterprise account holders.

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At the SeoQuake Team, the Google “Scraped Data” Fiasco Will Never Apply.

So, it’s been big in the news as of late.  I’m sure you heard about it – several companies met the strong arm of Google’s TOS, and wound up having to make a choice between showing organic data, and using the Google API for Adwords data.  These companies were put between a rock and a hard place, and had to make a tough decision.  Many decided to drop organic data entirely, in order to keep their status as a Google certified API partner.

Rest assured, the SEOquake Team is in no such unfortunate position.  SEOquake, SEMrush and WHOrush will continue to soldier on, unchanged, doing what we do best: providing in-depth competitive analysis and metrics on both paid and organic search.

There’s a lot of “magic” behind how we do things, but the main point is that it’s all in-house.  We create everything, from idea to the implementation.  Our developers constantly change and improve our algorithms, programming and methodology to stay right on top of every change the search world throws at us.  In that way, through a perfect mix of smart people, great ideas and powerful computers, we’re in a unique position to power forward through Google for years to come.

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