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Posts tagged: Forum Posting

Four Reasons Why Custom Blog Creation Is An SEO Tool You Can’t Afford to Miss

There are a lot of gurus — the vast majority, in fact — who hawk custom blog creation as a powerful and absolutely necessary tool for SEO. But very few of them take the time to explain exactly why a blog is so gosh darn important for good search engine results. We’re going to take a moment today to explain all of that to you in as much detail as we can fit into 400 words or less.

First Page PlacementBlogs are websites. They’re websites with specific functions like comments, trackbacks, and RSS feeds, but at heart, they get indexed, categorized, and ranked by the search engines just like every other website. Like every other website, they can be optimized so that the search engines see them more clearly and like them better. Unlike every other website, blogs have specific elements that give them strong SEO advantages.

Structured Content.
Blogs offer categories that allow you to compile your content according to theme or subject. That makes the search engines’ sorting job much easier, and makes sure that your content will rank for the right topic.

Straightforward URLs
Most blogs tend to have very uncomplicated URLs that follow an easy-to-determine pattern. As intelligent as the search engines’ spiders are, they do get confused from time to time by some of the more creative URL structures that humans come up with, but they always get the blog software’s links.

Deep Links
Blogs tend — quite naturally — to get into specifics about a product or service they’re talking about, which means they tend to produce very natural deep links. (A deep link is a link to a page ‘deep’ within a site, as opposed to the homepage of the same site. Deep links are great for long-tail keyphrases — think “Article Writing and Distribution” as opposed to “Organic SEO.

Really Simple Syndication
RSS feeds and blogs were literally made for each other. RSS content allows subscribers to get every new post without having to remember to check back with your blog — and any such content syndicated or cited by other blogs is simply more traffic for you!

All of this doesn’t cover the biggest ‘benefit’ of all — constant, fresh, unique content. Search engines love that more than anything else. With all of the unique SEO facets that blogs bring with them just based on their structure and software, it’s small wonder that custom blog creation is so loudly supported by SEO experts of all levels!

Coming Off the Blocks: A Fast Start With PPC Management

organic SEOPPC Management is the key to getting a web based business off the ground fast and hard. Startup companies that engage in traditional SEO services can expect to wait for weeks, months, or — if they hire the wrong company — years before the organic traffic they get from those services starts to pay the bills. By engaging pay-per-click marketing experts to build them a solid PPC campaign, however, they can turn a solid profit long before their SEO experts get them on the front page of the SERPs.

Many such sites are reluctant to try PPC because they’ve heard horror stories of individuals or other small businesses that sank thousands of dollars into pay-per-click without ever seeing any significant benefits. To be blunt, that’s because they tried to do it themselves, or they hired an amateur. A company that is skilled at PPC management will take the time to find the right long-tail keywords, build a massive list of keywords to bid on, and know what keywords to back away from as the competition becomes too fierce.

Pay-per-click advertising requires expertise to do right. Imagine how you’d feel if you hired an expert to design a flyer for your pet store, and he designed a pamphlet about sharks (which you don’t sell) and then handed it out to middle school kids at a playground. That’s what amateur PPC is like, in a very real sense. Unless you know what you’re doing, you can easily end up targeting the wrong market with an offer they care nothing about, and end up paying through the nose to do it.

With the right amount of expertise, on the other hand, PPC turns into the perfect complement to organic SEO efforts — essentially like an electric scooter that lets your website get by until it learns to run on its own. With the right ads appearing in front of the right people, you can drive traffic that will convert with startling regularity and get your bills paid as the SEO team slowly builds you a web of backlinks with the goal of eventually turning the PPC faucet down — and then off altogether.

Every Business Website Needs Article Writing and Distribution Services

Article writing and distribution services are a vital part of every successful SEO effort. That’s because a well-written and properly distributed article accomplishes an incredibly amount for a single document — more than almost any other service that you can engage. The benefits of a well-written and properly distributed article can be broken down into to areas: the SEO benefits and the active benefits.

SEO benefits

As discussed in the last post, there are three things a backlink needs to be great: authority, persistence, and relevance. A good article provides it’s own relevance — it’s hard to get more relevant to your website than an article written specifically about the stuff on your site! Similarly, article portals tend to gather a strong amount of authority by their very nature — it’s where experts write about stuff they’re experts on, after all — and they’re specifically designed to keep articles around and searchable for the foreseeable future. So the backlinks you get from an article are innately high-quality backlinks.

More importantly, an article allows you to perfectly control the anchor text of your backlink, which means that the search engines get to see that the arrow pointing at your page is labeled “video games” — and lo and behold, your page is about video games! That’s an extra layer of relevance to the backlink that also happens to improve Google’s opinion of your page to the search term “video games” as well.

Active benefits

All that doesn’t even begin to touch on the fact that a well-written article will guide readers to your webpage entirely on it’s own. In fact, until you’ve collected enough backlinks to work your way into a front page placement on the first page placementsearch engines, you can rely on those directed visitors for some conversions and sales along the way. In that way, article writing and distribution is unique among SEO techniques for bringing business long before the SEO itself has taken full effect.

But it’s not just the fact that readers will be directed to your site — each article also acts as a “preview” of your style and expertise in the reader’s minds. A crappy article will make readers devalue your product or service long before they see it — but a great one will make them confident that they’re dealing with a real person that has real understanding of their issue before they’ve ever laid eyes on your site. That’s some incredible marketing potential.

By giving readers an idea of who you are and giving them a chance to buy from you long before they’ve put your webpage high on the search engine results, article marketing is twice the boost to your business than any other SEO technique on the market. If you’re not engaging article writing and distribution services for your website, you’re missing out on the power of one of the strongest tools in the SEO arsenal.

The Backlink Trifecta: Forum Posting, Blog Posting, and Social Bookmarking

There are a few SEO tricks that virtually everyone puts to good use when crafting backlinks for their website: forum posting, blog posting, and social bookmarking. SEO, at least off-page SEO, is devoted almost entirely to the art of developing backlinks to your website. There are three basic attributes that make a backlink a good one: authority, persistence, and relevance.

Authority
Authority means that the backlink comes from a webpage that search engines think is important. Getting a backlink from About.com or Wikipedia.com has a lot more weight to it than getting a backlink from mommasgottablog.com or blitheringidiocy.info. In general, the older the site, the more traffic the site gets, and the higher the site’s PageRank, the more authority it has.

Persistence
Persistence simply means that the backlink will continue to exist for a long, long time. Putting forth a lot of effort to get a backlink from a PageRank 8 authority site is all well and good, but if that backlink is going to get deleted in a few weeks because the page regularly rolls over and offers entirely-new content, your efforts are going to be wasted.

Relevance
This is common sense. If your website is about spiders, and you get a backlink from a webpage about chicken casserole, the search engines are going to be all like “Whaa?”, and they’re going to assume that the backlink is an accident or otherwise not actually important. Much better to get a backlink from a page about surviving spider bites.

forum postingLooking at these three factors, the power of forums, blogs, and social bookmarking should make itself immediately obvious. First, most social bookmarking sites (like StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious) are authority sites by their very nature. More importantly, as you add more and more social bookmarks about a specific topic, the more the page becomes relevant. And of course, the entire point of social bookmarking is to create a persistent list of items that never goes away.

Similarly, forums and blogs offer such variety that finding relevant ones is pretty easy, and they’re designed to leave the comments and conversations around forever. The challenge is finding high-authority forums and blogs to comment on, but if you can accomplish that goal, you’re on your way to a plethora of high-quality backlinks.

Putting A Face On Your Website Using a Web Presenter

A web presenter is nothing more than an animated image of a person that appears on your computer screen and talks to you about the subject matter of the webpage you’re on. It’s akin to the old paperclip Office Assistant that came out first with Microsoft Word, only its human and doesn’t turn into a bicycle and roll off when you click the ‘X’. So what’s the big deal with these animated guides?

Well, it’s common knowledge that when a surfer arrives on a website, they only spend a few choice seconds looking for the clues that will tell them whether or not they’re going to click away or not. Videos have been shown effective in getting a surfer to stay and pay attention, but in many cases they take too long to load and the surfer is already gone. Web presenters tend to be quick-loading, and more importantly they instantly command attention by virtue of being unexpected — and unexpectedly human.

first page placementMost public speakers — and all politicians — know that 90% of human communication is nonverbal. It’s based on gestures, facial expressions, and posture. The way that people stand often tells you more about how they think of you than any amount of words that come out of their mouth. One of the things that makes a traditional text-and-picture website easy to click away from is the lack of that other 90% — the part of human communication that feels ‘personal’.

A skilled web presenter can add a lot of that missing communication back to your website. By giving it a face, a voice with human inflection, hand gestures, and inviting posture, a web presenter instantly gives your website much stronger ‘stick’.

Just as importantly, once the web presenter has the attention of your audience, s/he can direct that attention to other parts of the webpage. By communicating the essential message of your website in a human way, and then giving your call to action a bit more personality than the classic “only 7 left, 60-day guarantee, click here for a no-risk trial”, a web presenter can make the sale a much less jarring prospect for a surfer — and that means more conversions.

Creating a good web presenter with a quality presentation can seem like a lot of work, especially for a smaller web-based business, but professional teams of producers that are available online can get the job done effectively and at a very reasonable cost. The benefits are huge, and the process is relatively easy. Of course, you still need to get traffic to your site to make the web presenter fully effective, but once you’ve achieved your first page placement, the presenter will turn your natural traffic into hordes of conversions and sales consistently and without a lot of ongoing effort.

Targeted Email Marketing Is Your Most Powerful Profit Leverage

Targeted email marketing sounds like exactly what it is — a marketing technique in which you send emails to a list that you have somehow chosen as your ‘target’ market. The idea of sending emails to get people to buy stuff has been around for about three days less than email itself — so clearly the trick in targeted email marketing is the targeting part.

Without targeting, you’re a spammer — something that is both ineffective and, in many places, illegal. Without the email part, you’re trying to reach millions of ‘net surfers without any real way of singling them out personally; it’s less akin to sending out flyers and more akin to posting a billboard — and equally ignorable. And, of course, if you’re not marketing, you’re just sending out a bunch of emails that may get read and provoke an interested response, but won’t ever make you any money.

But let’s assume that you’ve got the marketing and the email part down — you can write an email that will come off as genuine, interesting, and worth reading all the way through, and put a call to action in that will get some decent percentage of the readers to go click where you want them to click. How, then, do you make sure that this Email gets into the inboxes of the kinds of people who will actually give a damn?

There are a few different techniques. One of the least effective involves renting an Email list from someone. This happens more often than you might believe — there are companies out there whose sole business is collecting lists of email addresses and matching them with interests. It’s completely possible to go rent 500,000 email addresses that some company has labeled as “interested in sports”, for example. It’s the least accurate form of targeting, and it’s only marginally better than spam.

You can also put an informational site up on the topic of choice, and invite people to leave their email address in order to acquire more information. Sometimes that more information will be in the form of an email, sometimes a free short ebook, but the point is that they’ve expressed interest in the subject personally — which is much more accurate than some listrenter’s labelling. Of course, this means you have to put up some free information and engage a bit of website SEO to make sure that people actually SEE that information, but the RoI is quite worthwhile when done well.

Finally, if you have an online business, you can send marketing emails out to your own previous clients. This is the most targeted and effective kind of mailing you can send out, because the people in question have not only proven that they’re willing to spend money on your product, but they have a relationship with you already. Leaning on that will result in much better conversions than in the previous two groups.

Regardless of how you go about getting your list of email addresses, by marketing to a select list of folks that have proven that they’re interested in what you have, you can leverage that group to produce much higher conversions and more sales than any amount of unfocused, shotgun-style marketing attempts.

Small Business, Big Money: The Power of Local Internet Marketing

Local internet marketing — the term seems almost oxymoronic. After all, isn’t part of the allure of marketing online the fact that people from Poughkeepsie to Paris can find your webpage and learn about your business? Well, yes, but if you run a brick and mortar business, how likely is it that people will drive there from Poughkeepsie — much less Paris — no matter how awesome your website is?

Brick-and-mortar businesses can still benefit from internet marketing, but of a very different variety than is used by the infopreneurs, site flippers, and other money-from-nothing gurus of the ‘net. They shouldn’t be targeting broad keywords and trying to snag traffic from other continents — they should be focusing on locale-specific searches, trying to make sure that when someone from Sequim, Washington searches for “lavendar soap”, that their lavender soap making shop it the one that Google displays first.

That’s the essence of local internet marketing — marketing to local people that are using the internet. It seems almost tautological, doesn’t it?

local internet marketingBut for all that it makes sense, local internet marketing isn’t always easy. Depending on the location, “local” might mean a place with 50,000 people, or 5 million — and the more people, the harder you have to work to optimize your site for the search engines. Los Angeles SEO, for example, is a dozen times more competitive than Oregon SEO, which is still two hundred times more competitive than SEO for the aforementioned lavender shop in rural Washington State.

However, once you’ve made it to the top, the profit that comes through the door is astounding. Studies have shown that 70% or more of internet users look up products locally online, and they have a tendency to decide on a business based on their web presence more than on their phone voice or their yellow pages advertisements.

That’s why local internet marketing is so much more effective than an ad in the newspaper or handing out fliers. A properly-performed localized SEO effort will give you more bang for your buck than almost any ‘real-world’ marketing campaign, especially for a small business, and especially in a smaller town. It may be a small business, but with localized SEO services, it can be big, big money.

Affordable SEO, Not Amateur SEO

Affordable SEO is the heart and soul of any startup web-based business. Small businesses don’t have the budget to drop vast quantities of money on pay-per-click marketing — though it is usually smart to spend a bit on it, just to get your income kick-started. In many ways, smart PPC management is the perfect compliment to affordable SEO — you get the income fast from your PPC campaign, you spend it maintaining that campaign and investing in some inexpensive but effective SEO, and eventually, the SEO will take over and the PPC campaign can be dropped.

That’s the fundamental essence of an expert route to success online, actually — find a way to make some consistent money up front, often with pay-per-click marketing or some other method of expensive but high-volume traffic generation, and then use the money you make to create backlinks and other SEO substructure to get your website on the stop of the search engine results pages.

The problem that many webmasters have is that they hire an SEO freelancer for pennies per hour on ODesk or Elance, and then they wonder why it’s been seven months that they’ve been paying for a service and haven’t gotten anything out of it. The answer is that they hired an amateur. It’s possible — and common — for amateurs to spend hundreds of hours doing what seems like valuable SEO work, building backlinks, posting on forums, commenting on blogs, and writing articles, only to get no results at all.

Professional but affordable SEO services might charge a bit more than a freelancer, but the results will be evident from the first week. Professionals know how to perform proper SEO, often utilizing ‘tricks’ that make every effort they put forth perform multiple functions at once — like giving your site a high-quality backlink while also driving traffic to the site to create sales, or writing an article and submitting variations of it in different places that all link back to the main article, driving the article itself up in the search engine results and making it’s effect on your website that much stronger.

The lesson here is simple: when it comes to search engine optimization, not everyone can afford to hire a huge company to work for them and make them king of the hill overnight — but everyone can afford professional SEO services if they know where to look, and anything less is just a waste of time and money.

Organic SEO is Like Organic Food for Your Website

Organic SEO is, at heart, the practice of creating the circumstances that will make Google and other search engines show your webpage on their front page. It’s an absolutely vital practice to the success of any long-term web-based business — in a very real way, if you’re not getting natural traffic, your website isn’t healthy — it’s on life support.

Like a healthy diet of organic food, organic SEO doesn’t have instantaneous effects — the goodness builds up over time. No one expects that if they stop eating Happy Meals and start eating right, they’re going to magically become perfectly healthy overnight — it’s implicitly understood that building a healthy body takes time and continuous effort. Organic SEO is exactly the same.

organicSimilarly, like eating right, Organic SEO has some of the most profoundly positive effects on your business of any of the practices you could engage in. When you eat right and overcome your health problems, you wake up every morning feeling energized and ready to take on the world. When you have powerful backlinks driving your page to the top of the search engines, you wake up every morning to learn that you’ve gotten another thousand visitors, few hundred conversions, and dozens of sales overnight, and you’re ready to pay bills, set some aside for a rainy day, and go out for a night on the town.

For a small business SEO is even more important, because the budget is that much tighter and the profit margins are that much more critical. SEO represents that investment into your future, without which your business will be permanently hooked on ‘fast food’ — by which I mean paying for banner space, classified ads, and other expensive, less-focused traffic.

Like McDonalds, these alternate traffic sources are fast, easy, and they claim to be cheap — but in reality, in the long run, they cost you so much more than doing things right. Just like eating junk will eventually cost you more in medical bills than you could possibly save on your monthly food bill, paid traffic will always eventually catch up to you, wallet-wise, as your conversions suffer.

Far better to ‘eat right’ from the get-go, and achieve a truly healthy web-based business sooner rather than later.