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Posts tagged: social bookmarking

Targeted Email Marketing And The Jaw Dropping Power of…

If you’re even tangentially aware of the incredible things that a solid targeted email marketing campaign can do for your website’s sales, you’re hanging on that ellipsis, wondering what could make such an incredible tool even better. If you’re not sure why you should care, let me explain it to you.

Targeted email marketing isn’t a form of website SEO — it’s an entirely different way of extracting additional money from a website that’s already getting traffic. In short, it’s a system of collecting Email addresses, usually by offering something in exchange for the Email address, and then sending Emails out to that list of addresses. At first, the Emails are strictly informational, full of content just like a blog post. Later, once you’ve gotten people used to paying attention to your Emails, you inform people of the latest offer/product/service that you’ve got going on, and they buy it.

website SEOThis works incredibly well, particularly on people that have already purchased your products before. Every targeted email marketing list is a small supply of ready-and-waiting customers that you don’t have to drive to your website — they’re already there!

So, time for the big reveal. If you haven’t guessed already it’s…

Powerful Titles!

Quite simply, no matter how carefully you’ve targeted your emailing list, no matter how amazing the content within your emails, if you can’t get people’s attention with the title, you’ve got nothing.

Crafting a great title is about creating intrigue. People love ‘Top X’ lists, so that’s a standard, but creativity is the key when it comes to titles that make people think. Whether you do it by leaving out a critical word (see above), or by contrasting two things that you wouldn’t think go together, or simply by offering something that the reader doesn’t believe he can obtain, anything that makes the recipient say “I need to know more” is success, and anything less is failure.

The Internet is full of great lists of successful email and direct-mail titles of the past, and it would behoove any dedicated practitioner of targeted Email marketing to check them out and get inspired — a great title makes all the difference.

Social Bookmarking: Is It Still Worth It?

Social bookmarking was once the rage of the SEO community — sites like del.ici.ous, Digg, and Reddit attracted a considerable amount of attention because they combined the three things that linkbuilders love: dofollow links, controllable anchor text, and the ability to share your links with others.

Then, as the social bookmarking sites realized that they were getting abused by internet markers looking to give their own sites some love, the vast majority of them switched to nofollow links, and the party pretty much died off. Or did it?

(For those of you who aren’t following — forgive the pun — the difference between a dofollow link and a nofollow link is that the Google spiders that crawl the web looking at pages won’t acknowledge a nofollow link, meaning that even if you get a link from a PR 8 webpage, if it’s nofollow, the Google spider won’t give your website the credit for that banklink.)

There are three big reasons why social bookmarking is still a critical part of every organic SEO campaign. First of all, the nofollow/dofollow distinction only applies to Google. If you want to rank on Bing, Yahoo, AllTheWeb, Blekko, or other up-and-coming search engines, each and every social bookmark you post has value.

social bookmarkingSecondly, there are still social bookmarking sites that retain their dofollow nature. The two biggest are Digg and, perhaps ironically, Google Buzz — but there are several dozen others that are worth your time. Even if Google is your sole target, social bookmarking on these sites will still have profound SEO benefits.

Finally, there is the simple fact that the third factor that made social bookmarks so amazing in the first place is still firmly in place — perhaps moreso now than ever. Social bookmarking pages have become communities, much like forums, and participating regularly on these community pages will get you the same kind of benefits in terms of readership and authority.

There is an easy way to prove this: grab a PR-checker and go to the profile pages of some of the most profligate posters on Digg and Reddit — and you’ll find that their profile page is often, by itself, a PR 4 or 5 page. That’s huge, and if you can get there, you can easily drop a high-PR backlink on any page you desire at any time. That is worth it.

PPC Management Is The Quickest Route to First Page Placement

When you’re just starting out online, you need one thing more than anything else: first page placement. As millions of failed Inter-preneurs can attest to, getting to the top of page 2 just doesn’t pay the bills — and when you’re just starting, you’re nowhere near even that laudable goal.

Enter the idea of pay-per-click marketing. This sounds like a dream come true for novice webmasters — you bid on some keywords, the search engines put your link up under the “Sponsored Placement” section whenever someone searches for those keywords, and they see your link! You pay a few cents, and one in every hundred or so people who searched for the keyword will actually follow your link to your site, and some of them will buy your product or service. Sounds simple enough.

The problem is that it’s not all that simple. There are dozens of potential pitfalls, most of them revolving around picking the right keywords, that can turn pay-per-click (PPC) into a black hole from which your money will never return. The PPC game is one that takes a very special skill set that most business owners quite simply don’t have time to learn. That’s why many SEO companies hire a few people who specialize in the vagaries of PPC — so that they can offer their clients a talented crew for PPC management.

PPC managementPPC managers add to the total cost of a PPC marketing campaign — but they virtually always add to the return as well. They’ve put in their ten thousand hours of PPC labor, and their expertise in their craft shows instantly in the results. They choose keywords that people use when they already want to buy something. They craft advertisements that show those people exactly how easy it is to buy what they’re looking for. They keep your cost-per-click low and your conversions high. All you have to do is make sure that your website converts as well as their advertisements do.

Given the relatively low cost of most PPC management today, it’s practically a no-brainer. PPC management equals instant first page placement — with results.

Going Viral with a Press Release Service

Let’s start by getting one thing very clear: not every use of a press release service results in a massive boost in traffic. Press releases can be insanely effective, but most of them are just backlinks like any other blog comment or one-off article submission. In fact, many experts will tell you not to put a lot of effort into your press releases — just hire a service and get one put out there about your latest product, service, or idea.

They’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

You see, a press release isn’t like an article you write and then put on a directory where someone might search for it and might read it. A press release goes out on a variety of websites that gather such releases, and the nation’s newspapers, news radio stations, televisions, and other press agencies actually comb through those looking for great stories. If they find one, they’ll take it to their editor, and if it’s approved, it gets printed (and/or airtime.)

organic SEOWhat’s more, if a news agency puts it out there, it’s likely to be picked up by one of the hundreds of secondary news blogs out there that are racing to get a few thousand hits by being on top of Google News for a few precious hours. That increases your potential audience by another order of magnitude — just about the most effective organic SEO you can imagine.

Of course, all of this depends strictly on having a press release writer who can craft something that doesn’t vanish into the massive pile of press releases that come out every day announcing thousands of new businesses’ concepts and products. To that end, you might want to consider asking whomever you hire as your press release service what their track record is. You might even consider offering to pay a little extra to get their best man on the job.

Again, it’s a gamble — but the sheer power of getting literally hundreds of permanent backlinks from all of the secondary (and a few primary) websites is so enormous, especially for a new business, that the extra cost is essentially like a lottery ticket that you’re much more likely to win from.

Six Rules For Highly Effective Blog Posting

Post Regularly
Like any form of organic SEO to a certain degree blog posting is a numbers game. The more posts you make, the stronger the effect the blog has on your website. That said, you have to give the readers a bit of time to digest each post, and you don’t want to wear yourself out, so posting regularly, not often, is the rule — pick an interval, be it a week or every 10 days, and post that often like clockwork.

Post Consistently
Consistency means your blog has a specific subject, and you stick to it. As much as it might be tempting to throw a post about how your two-year-old can already to back flips, if your blog is about first person shooter games, your off-topic post ruins the consistency, and you’ll loose viewers and Search Engine rank for it.

Use Convergent Focus
blog postingConvergent focus means that your subject matter has origins, and you’d do well to explore them. The search engines use technology that gives weight to each phrase in relation to the others when determining what your blog is ‘about’ — so showing that you know the background of your subject makes you look stronger.

Use Divergent Focus
Divergent focus means that your subject matter relates to other subjects, even ones that seem unrelated on the surface — but the search engines delve below the surface. If you’re writing about rebuilding old cars, for example, many of the same techniques are used by people who make kit cars — so posting about that relationship can strengthen your blog even more.

Write For Humans
Too many people make the mistake of creating blog posts that are strictly for search engines. You’ve seen them — broken English, keywords stuffed to the gills, and almost nothing that actually gets your attention and makes you want to keep reading. Google doesn’t like that, and neither do your readers.

Write For Search Engines
On the other hand, there are those bloggers who don’t even bother to learn the first thing about how the search engines work. It’s always valuable to learn the basics of SEO and work some keywords and some latent semantic indexing phrases into each blog post you make. Your goal is to rank, after all.

Good Forum Posting Habits Take Time To Develop

When you start down the path of forum posting, there are distinctly two different paths you can take toward success. You can go for the short-term, high-volume approach, or you can take a longer-term perspective that will result in the same high volumes that continue to flow each day, indefinitely. Too many erstwhile SEO experts who advocate the forum posting and, to a lesser degree, the blog posting tactics — blog comments, that is, not creating an actual blog — take the short-term perspective, and it ruins the real value inherent in these highly effective techniques.

That value is obvious when you stop to think about it — a forum is a very powerful thing. A large community of more-or-less dedicated readers will naturally build up quite an authority in the eyes of the websites as time goes on. Equally importantly, someone that has respect within that community — even if they’re not a pillar of it, but just someone that’s known for making meaningful contributions — will get his posts and thoughts read by scores if not hundreds of people.

blog postingOn the opposite note, someone that’s a complete newbie to the forum might get his posts read if he’s inflammatory or provocative enough, but the chances are good that the denizens will simply ignore him. Or worse, that the forum moderator will detect that he has a backlinking agenda, and simply delete his account and all of his posts along with it.

Either way, the net effect of all of his effort is squandered in whole or in part. But it’s easy to register for a forum, throw away a lame post or two, and then vanish never to be seen again — that’s why most people do it.

The other end of the spectrum involves time. Time to find a forum relevant to your subject matter, that doesn’t disallow personal links, that also happens to be big enough to be worth your attention. Time to learn the rules, time to post meaningful contributions that bring value to the community. But if you DO put in the time, the results speak for themselves: high-value backlinks coupled with an instant customer base for whatever relevant product or service you happen to be releasing. It’s golden — if you take the time.

Local Internet Marketing And Receipt Tape: A Powerful Combination

Sometimes, success in local internet marketing has more to do with tiny, subtle details than it does the broad strokes. Don’t get me wrong — if you don’t do the broad strokes right (like getting your Los Angeles SEO company listed first for the keyword “LA SEO”), the other parts won’t ever fall into place. But there are times when you can take the success of a great local internet marketing campaign to an entirely new level by doing something so minor — and weird — that you’d probably never consider it.

Without revealing the name of the business or its owner, let me tell you a quick story about a client. EliteSEOMarketing.com had just finished getting her floral business on the top of the local listings for her hometown, and she could tell — her foot traffic was up just under ten percent, and sales were improving accordingly. Then, she had a long discussion with one of the salesmen that comes to every small business trying to sell those credit card swiping machines.

first page placementHe told her about a trick that not many business owners take advantage of: the ability of almost all receipt-printing devices to add a bit of customized text at the bottom of their receipts. Immediately, she wondered how she could use that to drive traffic. After a quick call to us, we put together a plan.

The florist added a large and very visible footer on her receipt. It simply said “For 15% off your next visit, go to and print off a free coupon.” The twist — on her website, in order to print off a free coupon, you had to Email an identical coupon to a friend.

The sales funnel created by her first page placement instantly doubled in it’s effectiveness. People looked for a florist online, found her, came in, loved the product, and in a burst of enlightened self-interest, they told their friends. The friends went to the website, saw the quality page she had put up online, printed off the coupon, came into the store, saw the product for the awesome stuff it was, and went to print off more coupons (and tell more friends!)

That’s the power of a clever entrepreneur that isn’t afraid to mix local internet marketing with offline business tactics — and it’s beautiful to behold.

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.